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Frederic Bancroft 



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THE McCarthys in 







FROM rooney's Irish Genealogies 

THE McCarthys in 




Author of "A Hidden Phase of American HiSToaT," 
Ireland's Part in America's Struggle for Liberty 









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. . The early Irish settlers in America— Their history neglected — 

Va Necessity for research work — The MacCarthys an ancient and 

N* royal race — Kings of Munster and Princes of Desmond — The 

. ^ ruthless confiscations of their estates by the English— Exiles 

1^ to France, Spain and Austria and to the American colonies — 

\f\ The various forms of spelling the name in the Colonial records. 

^ Although many Irish families were settled in Amer- 
ica in Colonial and Revolutionary times, and a vast 
number of Irish names appear in the official records 
of the country, the contemporary references to these 
people in American historical works are lamentably 
scarce and superficial. Much of the matter necessary 
for a history of their settlements and of their fortunes 
in the new country is irrecoverably lost, and, with the 
exception of some desultory references to Irish families 
in the work of local town historians, in most cases about 
the only information that can now be gleaned after the 
lapse of so many years is that contained in the dry 
official records of the time. While searching for other 
historical material relating to the early Irish in Amer- 
ica, I have picked up some of the lost threads connect- 
ing the descendants of the old Irish family of Mac- 
Carthy with the Colonial and Revolutionary history 
of America and have thought they would be of sufficient 
interest to publish, so that some member of the family 
in the United States may be induced to take up the 
subject in earnest and bring out the full story of the 
many persons of this name who settled in the Western 
Hemisphere during the seventeenth and eighteenth cen- 



"Wtile I have no pretensions to having written a 
complete history of people of the name in the Ameri- 
can Colonies, and this book must be accepted as a mere 
skeleton of facts, I have no doubt that rea.ders of these 
pages will be surprised to learn that the McCarthys 
are represented so largely in early American annals. 
Yet, since much of the data was obtained in a casual 
way only, it should be understood that the number of 
McCarthys referred to in this work is far short of the 
total number of people of the name who were in this 
country at the period dealt with. If I were tempted 
to follow the method of some 'of our historical writers 
and had clothed the facts with the garb of fancy, it 
could have been made a much more readable book, but 
I have determined to let the facts "speak for them- 
selves," in the belief that they are sufficient to show 
that the McCarthy family is entitled to a place in 
American history alongside those of any other name 
or race, not excluding even the Puritans of New Eng- 
land or the Cavaliers of Virginia. 

Among the deficiencies of information connected with 
the history of the early Irish settlers in America, noth- 
ing perhaps is more noticeable than the absence of 
biographies of individual Irishmen or their descend- 
ants, or genealogies of American families of Irish blood. 
Comparatively few of such genealogies have been pub- 
lished, and it is indeed surprising that the race pride 
which is supposed to exist among Irish people and their 
American descendants of the first and second generations 
has not found expression in the publication of many 
more family histories. It is unfortunate that the Irish 
in America have not shown greater industry in this 
respect, and any one who examines the early public 
records of the country must at once conclude that, the 


Irish have sadly neglected the opportunities which these 
records afford, to rescue from oblivion and to perpetuate 
a knowledge among their fellow Americans of the part 
played by men and women of the Irish race in laying 
the foundations of the structure upon which this great 
nation rests. 

There is no earthly reason why the Irish, like Amer- 
icans of other races, should not be accorded a place in 
the history of this country. The Huguenot' Society 
has put on record the contributions of the French; the 
Holland Society has told of the part played by Amer- 
icans of Dutch descent; the Thistle Society has related 
the story of the Scotch; the Spaniards have a well- 
established place in American history, and the English 
have had numberless historians who made it a business 
and a trade to supply the world with histories of their 
own making and from their own point of view ; in short, 
nearly every race which made up the population of this 
country in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, 
with the exception of the Irish, has supplied historians 
who have put on record the creditable deeds of men and 
women of their own blood. Thus, the American people 
have had opportunities to learn what each nationality 
has contributed to the greatness and progress of their 
country, but, although the Celtic element was numeric- 
ally important in the Colonies, the general public knows 
practically nothing of the history of the Irish immi- 
grants or their American descendants. 

A member of the Virginia branch of the McCarthy 
family, on reading the manuscript of this volume, re- 
marked that he could not understand why, in the pub- 
lished histories of Virginia, the record of the McCarthys 
had been ignored. I reminded him of the fact that 
this applies to many other American families descended 


from Irish immigrants, and that in the comparatively 
few instances where they have been mentioned by the 
historians, they are referred to as "Scotch-Irish," the 
intention being to show that they were of mixed nation- 
ality and that their predominant race characteristics, 
their virtues and saving qualities, but not their faults, 
were derived from the Scotch. I cannot here resist 
the temptation to point out, that in nearly every in- 
stance where an Irishman distinguished himself in early 
American history, the so-called historians describe him 
as "a Scotch-Irishman," while a native of Ireland, who 
committed some discreditable deed, is unhesitatingly 
called ' * an Irishman ' ' ! 

Irish-blooded Americans are, however, themselves to 
blame if their people have been relegated to a place 
of no importance in American history. For many years 
they have been complaining that "the historians have 
kept us out of history," unmindful of the fact that the 
fault is all their own, since the real facts are readily 
obtainable if they would only devote to the work a 
part of the energy that they waste in denouncing un- 
sympathetic historians. Since a nation is but an ag- 
gregation of individuals and families, it has been well 
said that "the history of a country is but the history 
of its people," and in the numerous published geneal- 
ogies of American families and the biographical works 
of historical societies are found some of the most inter- 
esting items of the nation's history. American geneal- 
ogists, however, have devoted their attention mainly 
to families of English or Dutch descent, because the 
demand for their work came chiefly from those sources. 

There is a strong and ever increasing reason, there- 
fore, to see this state of affairs remedied, to look into 
the emigrant ancestry of Americans of Irish blood. 


It is highly desirable that their history should be traced 
as far as practicable, but it can be done only by consult- 
ing the records of the towns and parishes and the official 
documents of the Colonial governments, and if the proper 
spirit were displayed this work would result in making 
many valuable contributions to the historical literature 
of the country. In many cases, the Colonial records, 
which contain the only memorials extant of the early 
settlers, are time-worn and gradually falling into decay, 
but upon their fading and perishing pages are chronicled 
some of the events in which Irishmen and Irishwomen 
took part, whose names and deeds are forgotten, or per- 
haps have never been brought to light through the neg- 
lect of those who should be most interested in the sub- 
ject. At this late day it is difficult for an individual 
working alone in this field, to clothe with any degree of 
interest the dry-as-dust and barren details of the ordi- 
nary affairs of life in which these people figured, and the 
light afforded by the ancient wills and deeds, parish 
i'egisters, court proceedings, tombstone inscriptions, 
newspapers, and the many Colonial and Revolutionary 
records that I have examined, is insufficient to enable 
one to write a complete narrative of the lives of these 
people or of what they contributed to the making of 

No attempt has been made to extend this account of 
the American McCarthys beyond the eighteenth century. 
I believe, however, it should be and can readily be done, 
for their descendants are numerous in this country, al- 
though in some instances the male line has died out and 
many of their collateral descendants cannot now be recog- 
nized at all. It would undoubtedly be a matter of great 
interest to the numerous McCarthys throughout the 
United States if the full story were told, especially of the 


descendants of the first two of the name in the Colonies, 
namely Charles and Owen McCartie, who came to Vir- 
ginia in 1635, or only fifteen years after the landing of 
the Pilgrims of the Mayflower. A more extensive search 
than I have been able to make probably would locate 
them, and perhaps some unwritten American history of 
an interesting character would thus be unearthed. It 
would also be an incentive to other Americans of old 
Irish stock to take up the history of people of their names 
and thus place on permanent record the story of their 
deeds, if only as an offset to the spurious accounts that 
have been published of some of the "Scotch-Irish" by 
the society calling itself by that racial misnomer. 

The MacCarthys are one of the most ancient families 
of Ireland. One need not dilate at length on the glories 
of the name in ancient or modem Ireland; enough, that 
the family has furnished princes and men of eminence 
from IMacCarthy Mor down to Justin McCarthy, the 
brilliant author of the present day. The antiquarians 
tell us that the founder of the family was Cormac, King 
of Munster, a. d. 483. Burke, the leading authority on 
English and Irish peerages, declares that "few pedigrees 
in the British empire, if any, can be traced to a more 
remote or more exalted source than that of the Celtic 
house of MacCarthy,"^ and the learned Dr. O'Brien 
says that "it was the most illustrious of all those fami- 
lies whose names begin with Mac. ' ' ^ Their history com- 

1 Oenealogical and Heraldic Dictionary of the Landed Gentry of Great 
Britain and Ireland, by J. Bernard Burke; Vol. I, p. 789. 

2 Those who may be interested in more detailed accounts of this family 
are referred to such works as Burke's General Armory (London, 1884) ; 
Burke's Dormant, Abeyant, Forfeited and Extinct Peerages (London, 
1866) ; Burke's Landed Gentry (London, 1871) ; Burke's Vicissitudes of 
Families (London, 1859-60); O'Hart's Irish Pedigrees (Dublin, 1881); 
G'Hart's Irish Landed Gentry (Dublin, 1877) ; McVeigh's Royal Book of 
Crests and Washboiirne's Book of Family Crests (London, 1882) ; Lodge's 
Peerage of Ireland (Dublin, 1789) ; Howard's Miscellanea Genealogies 
«t Beraldica; Nichols' Topographer and Genealogist (London, 1853) ; 


mences with the first page of authentic Irish records 
and is as well attested as the history of any royal house 
in Christendom, and the fame of their chieftains, the 
learning, piety and zeal of many saintly men among 
them form a vast inheritance of glorious memories.^ 4-S 
the Irish antiquarian, Windele, wrote : ' * Notwithstand- 
ing that a large proportion of the persons forming their 
high ancestral stock belong to the mythic period of Irish 
history, the MacCarthys may proudly defy any other 
family in Europe to compete with them in antiquity or 
accurate preservation of their records," According to 
the Annals of the Four Masters, ''thirty of the Kings 
of Ireland and sixty-one of her Saints descended from 
the MacCarthys, and to them belongs the matchless glory 
of producing the first Christian King in Ireland, to 
whom the country owes the welcome of its religion into 
the land, and not only this but the assembling, chris- 
tianizing and sanctioning of the code of their laws, the 
Seanchus M6r, under which our ancestors lived for 
twelve centuries." 

The ancestry of the family can be traced through 
twenty-eight monarchs who governed Ireland, back to 
the dawn of Christianity, and, if regard be had to 
primogeniture and seniority of descent, the MacCarthy 
family is the first in Ireland. "Long before the found- 
ers of the oldest royal families of Europe, before Rodolph 
acquired the empire of Germany, or a Bourbon ascended 
the throne of France, Cormac MacCarthy ruled over 

The Complete Peerage (London, 1893) ; The Book of Dignities (London, 
1894) ; Cusack's History of the City and County of Cork (Cork, 1875) ; 
Hyde's Literary History of Ireland (London, 1899) ; Prendecgrast'a 
Ireland from the Restoration to the Revolution, 1660 to 1690 (London, 
1887) ; Lower's Patronymica Britanica (London, 1860) ; and An Eisto- 
rieal Pedigree of the MacCarthys, by D. MacCarthy (Exeter, England, 

3 Historical Pedigree of the Sliochd Feidlimidh, The MaeCwrthys of 
Gleannacroim, by Daniel MacCarthy Glas, pp. 100-101 ; Exeter, Eng. 1849. 


Munster and the title of King was at least continued in 
name in his posterity down to the reign of Elizabeth. ' ' * 
In the history of ancient Ireland Cormac MacArt, 115th. 
monarch of the Kingdom, is a famous figure. He is 
noted especially for establishing a university at Tara, 
one of whose schools was for teaching jurisprudence. 
Unless the Eoman Forum be regarded as a law school, 
Cormac 's was the first law school in existence, and it 
was he also who gave to the world that system of chronol- 
ogy which makes the records of a country from year 
to year synchronize with the history of other countries, 
by collating events with the reigns of contemporary 
foreign potentates. 

Heads of families of this name in Munster have held 
many proud titles; among them were Princes of Des- 
mond, Princes of Carbery, Earls of ClanCarthy, Earls 
of Muskerry, and Earls of Mountcashel. Their pos- 
sessions were located chiefly in the Counties of Cork and 
Kerry, where for centuries they maintained their 
princely predominance, and in the sixteenth century 
their influence in Ireland was so great that all Queen 
Elizabeth 's designs were aimed at the destruction of their 
power! An Irish poet has sung of them: 

"Oh ! bright are the names of their chieftains and sages 
That shine like the stars through the darkness of ages, 
Whose deeds are inscribed on the pages of story, 
There forever to live in the sunshine of glory. 
Heroes of history, phantonas of fable, 
Charlemiange's champions and Arthur's round table. 
Oh! but they all a new lustre could borrow 
From the glory that hangs round the name of MaeCaura." ' 

4 Journal of the Cork Ilistorical and Archaeological Society; 2nd. Series, 
Vol. II, p. 213. 

e The sound of the name as pronounced in Gaelic. 


O'Hart* says that the name, MacCarthy, is derived 
from Carthach (number 107 on the MacCarthy Mor 
pedigree), who was Prince of Desmond in the tenth 
century, and, from the meaning of the name, he con- 
cludes that Carthach was the founder of the City of 
Cashel, which was formerly the royal seat of the King- 
dom of Desmond or South Munster. This Carthach is 
described in Irish annals as " a great commander against 
the Danes" in the war between the Irish and the Danes 
which was terminated at the battle of Clontarf , a. d. 
1014. Muireadach, son of Carthach, born in the year 
1011, and who became King of Munster in 1045, is said 
to have been the first to assume the name, MacCart- 
haigh, afterwards anglicized into MacCarthy and Mac- 
Caura/ Donal Mor na-Caura, descendant of Carthach, 
was Prince of Desmond from 1185 to 1205, and from this 
Donal the word "Mor" meaning "great," was added 
to the surname of the elder branch of the family to 
distinguish it from the younger branches, and hence the 
name, MacCarthy Mor. 

The pedigree of the family as traced by the Irish 
antiquarians shows that they were a numerous Sept, 
and for several centuries they were divided into three 
great stems, each subdivided into several minor, and 
dependent, but still powerful branches. The main line 
was that of MacCarthy Mor, the second MacCarthy 
Reagh, and the third MacCarthy of Muskerry. For 
several generations the descendants in the main line were 
known chiefly as Kings of Desmond, the MacCarthy 
Reaghs as Princes of Carbery and the third branch as 
Lords of Muskerry. They had several castles in Cork and 
Kerry. Descriptions of them say that these castles were 

8 Irish Pedigrees, Vol. I, p. 31. 

T A. Literary History of Ireland, by Dr. Douglas Hyde, p. 61; London, 


massively constructed ; their towers and battlements were 
equal in grandeur and strength to those elsewhere in 
Europe, and for generation after generation they defied 
the attacks of time and the elements and proudly reared 
aloft their stately walls. The principal seat of Mac- 
Carthy Mor was historic Muckross castle at the Lakes 
of Killarney and which is now in the possession of a 
descendant of a Cromwellian soldier. "Of one hun- 
dred and sixty castles in the County of Cork," says 
Windele, ''twenty-six were erected by the MacCarthy 
Mor."® The principal seat of the MacCarthy Reagh 
branch of the family was a stately building at Kilbrittain, 
County Cork, and the famous Blarney Castle in the 
same county, until the Revolution of 1688, was the resi- 
dence of the branch which bore the title of Lords of 

One of the most noted members of the family was 
Florence MacCarthy, who flourished in the latter part 
of the fifteenth and early in the sixteenth centuries. In 
the Pacata Hihernia and in Smith's histories of Cork, 
Kerry and Waterford much interesting detail is related 
of his career, and "The Life and Letters of Florence 
MacCarthy Reagh, Tanist of Carbery," compiled from 
documents in the English State Paper Office at London, 
by one of his descendants, .Daniel MacCarthy Glas, is 
one of the most interesting and valuable contributions 
to the history of the family that has ever been pub- 
lished. This Florence was a collateral descendant of 
Donal Mor na-Caura in the twelfth generation, and 
according to O'Hart, in the year 1600 he was "solemnly 
created The MacCarthy Mor with all the rites and cere- 
monies of his family for hundreds of generations, which 
title and dignity was formally approved of by Hugh 

8 Windele's South of Ireland. 


O'Neill, then Ard-Righ, or Ruler of the Irish in Ire- 
land. ' ' ^ He married his kinswoman, Elana, daughter 
of Donal MacCarthy Mor, Earl of Clancare, and became 
Prince of Desmond. He was twice a prisoner of the Eng- 
lish; the first period lasting for eleven years for ''the 
offense of marrying an Irish princess without Queen 
Elizabeth's permission," the second lasting for thirty- 
nine years and was "for reasons of state," and in 
neither ease was he brought to trial. He died in Lon- 
don in the year 1640.^° 

Another famous member of the family was Donough 
MacCarthy, Lord of Muskerry, who was created Earl 
of ClanCarthy in 1658, and was commander of the Mun- 
ster forces in the wars in Ireland in 1641 and against 
the Cromwellians in 1652. He was exiled to the Con- 
tinent and his property conferred on his second wife, 
Ellen, sister of the Duke of Ormond. At the Restora- 
tion of Charles II, he returned to Ireland and died in 
London in the year 1665. He had a son named Donal 
who was known as the Buchaill Ban, or "the fair-haired 
boy," and this Donal was the father of Donal, or Daniel, 
McCarty of Virginia, hereinafter referred to as an exile 
from Ireland to Virginia after the Treaty of Limerick 
in 1691. Donough MacCarthy 's other sons were Cormac, 
Callaghan and Justin, the last of whom was created Earl 
of Mountcashel by King James in 1689. Cormac, eldest 
son of Donough, became an officer of the English navy 
and when he fell by the side of the Duke of York (after- 
wards King James II), at a great naval engagement be- 
tween the English and Dutch fleets in the year 1665, it 
was decided that he should be honored with a public 
funeral, and "accordingly, with all imaginable heraldic 

9 Irish Pedigrees; Vol. I, p. 114. 

10 The Life and Letters of Florence MacCarthy M6r, Tanist of Cattery, 
by Daniel MacCarthy Glas; London, 1867. 


pomp and solemnity, attended by many of the nobility of 
England, the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Lord 
Chancellor, the remains of this Milesian chieftain were 
interred in Westminster Abbey. ' ' ^^ 

Callaghan, second son of Donough MacCarthy, mar- 
ried Elizabeth Fitzgerald, daughter of the Earl of Kil- 
dare, by whom he had a son named Donough who became 
fourth Earl of ClanCarthy. Donough was educated by 
the Archbishop of Canterbury in England and there 
married Elizabeth Spencer, daughter of Robert Spencer, 
Earl of Sutherland. On the accession of James the 
Second he returned to Ireland and took a prominent part 
with his uncle, Lord Mountcashel, in the James and 
Williamite war which ended with the Treaty of Limerick. 
On the landing of King James at Kinsale from France 
in the year 1689 he received and entertained that mon- 
arch and continued to support his cause until captured 
by the forces of the Duke of Marlborough, who conveyed 
him a prisoner to the Tower of London, Thence he 
escaped to France in 1694, where he received the com- 
mand of King James' Guards. Four years later he 
ventured to return to England in a fruitless effort to 
recover his property which had been parceled out among 
the victorious Williamite Generals and other officers of 
the English Crown. He was instantly arrested and 
was exiled on the miserable pension of £300. per year, 
and on the condition that he should never return to his 
native land. The enormous wealth of this branch of 
the MacCarthys may be supposed from a passage in 
Windele's account of the Earl of ClanCarthy: "With 
the fortunes of King James fell those of ClanCarthy. 
His property, which upon a loose calculation made in 

H Historical Pedigree of the Sliochd Feidlimidh, The MacCarthys of 
Oleannacroim, by Daniel MacCarthy Glas; pp. 100-101; Exeter, Eng. 1849. 


the middle of the last (eighteenth) century, was sup- 
posed to be worth £150,000 per annum and in 1796 
about £200,000, was confiscated."" 

The unfortunate Earl, thus deprived of his estates, 
retired to Altona in Germany and purchased a little 
island at the mouth of the Elbe, where he died in the 
year 1734. In a news despatch dated "London, October 
1, 1734," printed in the American Weekly Mercury of 
Philadelphia for the week, December 17-24, 1734, I find 
the following interesting comments: "Advice is come 
from Hamburg, that about ten days since died at Altona, 
a Town near that City, the Right Honourable Donough, 
Earl of Clancarty, Viscount Muskerry, etc., in the 
Kingdom of Ireland, aged 78 years. He marry 'd the 
Lady Elizabeth Spencer, Daughter of Robert, Earl of 
Sutherland, Prime Minister to King James the Second. 
She died at Copenhagen in the year 1703, whither she 
accompany 'd her Lord in Banishment (he having been 
attainted for having taken up Arms in Ireland for that 
unhappy Prince), leaving Issue a Son and a Daughter, 
Viz. Donah, Viscount Muskerry, now Earl of Clancarty 
(his Father's attainder having been revers'd), who com- 
mands one of his Majesty's Ships of War upon the Coast 
of Newfoundland, and the Lady Charlotte, Wife to the 
Right Honourable John, Lord Delaware, Treasurer of 
his Majesty's Household." 

Donough, fourth Earl of ClanCarthy, had a son named 
Donough, who entered the English navy, and through 
the instrumentality of the Prime Minister of France the 
English Cabinet, in 1735, was induced to consider a meas- 
ure for the reversal of the iniquitous outlawry of his 
deceased father and the restoration of his estates. But, 
the faction which at that time ruled the English Parlia- 

12 Windele's South of Ireland. 


ment, becoming alarmed at the idea of the restoration 
of so popular a chieftain as the Earl of ClanCarthy, 
passed a law declaring as "public enemies" all lawyers 
who should be concerned in his appeal, and the young 
Earl's cause consequently was abandoned. Thereupon, 
he threw up his commission and went to France where 
he spent many years in virtual poverty, until he obtained 
from the French King an annual pension of £1000. 

Justin MacCarthy, Earl of Mountcashel, third son of 
Donough, Earl of ClanCarthy, was one of the principal 
commanders of King James' Irish army in the war with 
"William of Orange. On the defeat of his troops at En- 
niskillen in 1689 he was made prisoner, but he escaped 
and fled to France where he met with a most flattering 
reception from Louis XIV, at whose hands he had the 
distinction of receiving a commission of Lieutenant-Gen- 
eral entitling him to command all the Irish troops in 
the service of France. He died at Barrege in France in 
the year 1694 of wounds received in battle. His wife 
was Arabella, daughter of Thomas Wentworth, Earl of 
Strafford, and one of his grand-daughters became the 
wife, first of the famous Patrick Sarsfield, Earl of Lucan, 
who commanded the Irish army during the siege of 
Limerick, and second of James Fitzjames, Duke of Ber- 
wick, natural son of James the Second. An unconfirmed 
tradition in the McCarty family of Virginia says that 
the Dennis MacCarthy of Rappahannock County here- 
inafter referred to was a son of Justin, Lord Mount- 
cashel, but the pedigree of the family makes no mention 
of a son named Dennis and it is said, in fact, that ''the 
Earl of Mountcashel left no male issue." ^^ Many other 
interesting incidents are related in Irish history of the 

13 Historical Pedigree of the l^iochd Feidlimidh, The MacOarthys of 
Oleannacroim, p. 149. 


vicissitudes of this noble family. Of an exiled member 
of another branch of the MacCarthys the following affect- 
ing incident is related by Crofton Croker in his Re- 

"A considerable part of the MacCarthy estates in the County 

of Cork was held by Mr. S about the middle of the last 

century. Walking one evening in his demesne, he observed 
a figure, apparently asleep, at the foot of an aged tree, and, 
approaching the spot, found an old man extended on the 
ground, whose audible sobs proclaimed the severest affliction. 

Mr. S enquired the cause and was answered 'Forgive 

me, sir, my grief is idle, but to mourn is a rehef to the desolate 
heart and humbled spirit. I am a MacCarthy, once the pos- 
sessor of that castle, now in ruins, and of this ground; this 
tree was planted by my own hands and I have returned to 
water its roots with my tears. To-morrow I sail for Spain, 
where I have long been an exUe and an outlaw since the Revo- 
lution. I am an old man, and to-night, probably for the last 
time, bid farewell to the place of my birth and the house of 
my forefathers !" 

Justin MacCarthy, a representative of the house of 
MacCarthy Reagh, also became an exile to France after 
the Revolution of 1689. He lived at Toulouse as late 
as 1767, and of him a writer in Bolster's Quarterly 
Magazine ^^ many years ago wrote : The late Comte de 
MacCarthy Reagh resided at Toulouse and left behind 
him at his decease a magnificent library, second only 
to that of the King of France. No other library in 
Europe possessed so large a number of printed and man- 
uscript books on vellum, of which scarce and valuable 
material alone it contained not less than 826 volumes. 
His sons, nevertheless, at his death, found themselves 
under the necessity of parting with it, and thus the 
splendid literary cabinet, the pride of this unfortunate 
family, became scattered over England and France ! It 

14 No. VIII, pp. 327-328. 



would seem as if Fortune had not yet ceased her persecu- 
tion of an ancient and distin^ished race!" 

As in the case of other old Irish families, with their 
power utterly broken and their estates confiscated by 
the English invaders, they had no recourse but to seek 
asjdum in foreign lands, and in the seventeenth and 
eighteenth centurie's we find many of this ancient and 
royal race emigrating to France, Spain and Austria and 
some to the American Colonies. In American records 
there is less scarcity of this ancient Irish name than one 
would be led to suppose from a perusal of the work of 
the historians. In the records of all the original Thir- 
teen Colonies the name is found, beginning in the ease 
of Virginia as early as the third decade of the seven- 
teenth century and down to and beyond the period of 
the Revolution. The McCarthys are found among the 
early settlers of nearly every American State and Ter- 
ritory; among the border men and hunters who were 
the first to penetrate the wilderness of the west and 
south; in the rosters of the Colonial militia who held 
back the redmen at the frontiers of civilization; in the 
ranks of the army and navy of the Revolution; among 
pioneer merchants and professional men, and more espe- 
cially among those humbler citizens, the "men with the 
hoe, ' ' who so seldom find a place in the pages of history. 
In short, people of this name have cut more or less of 
a figure in those spheres where only men of good red 
blood and undaunted courage usually find a place. 

The names and data here given are obtained by ex- 
amination of the records, and where the records them- 
selves were not obtainable, from official copies of them 
published by the various states, the town and county 
histories, genealogies, publications of historical societies 
and other reliable sources. How many more McCarthys 


could be located by a more exhaustive search I am not 
prepared to say, but those mentioned here seem to be 
sufficiently numerous and important to serve as an incen- 
tive to the American McCarthys to make a special study 
of the history of people of this name in the "Western 
Hemisphere. For example, an effort might be made, by 
following up the official records of the regiments of which 
they were members, to ascertain what part was played 
by the four hundred or more McCarthys who served 
in the Colonial and Revolutionary wars and in the second 
war for Independence. Whatever influence they had 
during the Revolutionary struggle, it was almost wholly 
on the patriot side, and according to the enlistment 
papers we find among them many young men, who evi- 
dently were active, eager spirits in the cause of Inde- 
pendence, and who probably rendered good service to 
their country in her hour of trial. It is a singular fact 
that only two persons of the name can be found among 
the "Loyalists of the Revolution," Isiah and Denis 
McCarty, whose names appear in lists of loyalists who 
settled in Nova Scotia. Where these two McCartys were 
located in the American Colonies I am unable to say, but 
I believe it was in New England. 

While there are clear indications that some of the 
American Irish McCarthys of those early days were of 
the better classes and were men of education and refine- 
ment, who, ' ' preferring an altar in the desert to a coro- 
net at court," voluntarily expatriated themselves to the 
Colonies, I have no doubt that the majority of those 
whose names appear in the early records crossed the 
seas as poor ''redemptioners" and had to work their 
way against obstacles of the most difficult character. 
But, their record in America has been an honorable one 
and in several instances they or their immediate descend- 


ants are seen to have risen to places of trust and responsi- 
bility in the business, political and social life of their 

Although the correct spelling of the name is *'Mac- 
Carthy," I have selected for the title of this book the 
form of the name in most general use, viz., "McCarthy." 
As in many other cases, the naihe is spelled in divers 
curious ways in the colonial records, for all surnames 
were at the mercy of the whims and caprices of the offi- 
cials of the period, and while I am quoting the exact 
spelling as it is recorded in each instance, it should be 
understood that all such persons mentioned herein were 
of the old MacCarthy family of Munster. The labor 
of collecting this material has been great, yet it is only 
part of other more extensive researches that I have made 
into the history of the early Irish in America, and this 
may serve as an explanation of what will probably be 
noticed by my readers, namely, that in the case of many 
of the McCarthys whose names appear in public records 
I have furnished very little details of their history. 
That is because my opportunities for research were often 
limited and were confined largely to places where the 
information is readily accessible. 




I The McCaetys of Virginia 1 

II The McCaetys of Virginia (continued) ... 39 

III The McCartys of Virginia (continued) ... 71 

IV The McCarthys in Maryland, the Carolinas 

AND Georgia 1^^ 

V The McCarthys in Louisiana, Illinois and 

Kentucky 128 

VI The McCartys in Pennsylvania and Delaware 147 

VII The McCarthys in New York and New Jersey 173 

VIII The MacCartys in Massachusetts . .- . . 199 

IX The MacCartys of Massachusetts (continued) . 240 

X McCarthys in Connecticut, Rhode Island, 

Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont . . . 263 

XI The Fighting Race 287 

Appendix ^^1 



THE McCarthys in 


THE McCarthys in early 




Charles and Owen McCartie, the first of the name in America — 
The Town of Kinsale, Va., founded by Irish Colonists about 
1662 — Dennis MacCarthy, patentee of lands in Rappahannock 
and Princess Anne Counties in 1675 — Daniel McCarty, King's 
Attorney in Virginia in 1692 — Florence MacCartie, of York 
County, and his descendants — Daniel McCarty, exiled from 
Ireland by the Treaty of Limerick, 1691 — A wealthy land- 
owner — Speaker of the Virginia House of Burgesses, 1705- 
1715 — His interesting career — Other Irish pioneers in Virginia. 

In the State Paper Department at the Public Record 
Office of England there are still preserved some of the 
passenger lists of the ships that left English ports for 
the American Colonies during the seventeenth century. 
The copies of these manuscripts, as transcribed by John 
Camden Hotten, are familiarly known as ^'Hotten's 
Original Lists" and were published at London in the 
year 1874, under the title of "The Original Lists of 
Persons of Quality, Emigrants, Religious Exiles, Political 
Rebels, Serving Men, sold for a term of years, etc., who 
went from Great Britain to the American Plantations 
between 1600 and 1700." 

The "Immigrant Lists to Virginia" of this period 

contain a surprisingly large number of Irish names, and 

among those who came to Virginia in the Plaine Joane 


2 THE McCarthys 

which sailed from London on May 15, 1635, were Charles 
and Owen McCartie.^ The Plaine Joane is said to have 
disembarked her passengers at Newport News in whose 
immediate vicinity some of them are known to have 
settled, while others moved out along the James and Rap- 
pahannock Rivers, where they worked as laborers on 
the plantations or later received grants of uncultivated 
lands themselves. A search through the Virginia records 
fails to disclose any trace of the whereabouts of Charles 
or Owen McCartie, except that mention is made of their 
names in the records of Norfolk County, where it is 
said that Charles was aged twenty-seven and Owen eigh- 
teen at the time of their arrival. Their names do not 
appear in the early land patents, which indicates the 
probability that they came over as "redemptioners" and 
were employed in some capacity by Virginia planters. 
It is noted that they came to this country, not direct 
from Ireland but from the port of London. At that 
time and during the period of Oliver Cromwell's activi- 
ties in Ireland, thousands of Irish youths of both sexes 
were forcibly seized, taken to English ports and thence 
transported across the seas. Some were sent to the 
islands of the West Indies and others to the American 
Colonies, where they were placed in the service of the 
planters of Virginia and New England, and in the Colo- 
nial records may be found the names of many of those 
Irish boys and girls acting as servitors to their English 

masters. No discrimination was made as to the social 
standing of the families who were visited by these 

1 Hotten's Original Lists, p. 78. See also New England Historic- 
Genealogical Tteoister; Vols. 2, 3, 4, 5, and 15, for references to Charleo 
and Owen McCartie and a large number of other Irish youths who were 
transported to Virginia in the year 1635, transcribed for that Society 
from the original records by H. G. Sowerby of London. See also YirginUi 
County Records, edited by William Armstrong Oroiier and published 
by The Genealogical Association in ten volumeB. 


traflSckers in human lives, and Prendergast relates, in 
The Cromwellian Settlement of Ireland, the shocking 
details of the seizures of boys and girls of gentle birth 
who were caught and hurried to the private prisons of 
these English "man-catchers" and afterwards trans- 
ported to the American plantations. 

It is not perhaps, assuming too much to say that 
Charles and Owen McCartie were brothers, and no doubt 
at their age were able-bodied men, and consequently 
equipped by nature to brave the unknown perils and 
undergo the privations of a savage and unreclaimed 
wilderness. If, as appears from a tradition which exists 
among the McCartys of Virginia, they left the protection 
of the seaboard settlements and proceeded inland as the 
servitors of some planter or to carve out destinies for 
themselves, we can imagine that they were possessed of 
no mean courage, when we consider the conditions that 
prevailed in the then unexplored region that stretched 
from Chesapeake Bay north and west to the Blue Ridge 
and Shenandoah mountains. At this period, much of 
that territory was nothing more than a vast hunting 
ground upon which the savage tribes of the west and 
south killed the elk and buffalo and occasionally en- 
countered each other in bloody conflict. Few permanent 
settlements existed within its borders. It was inhabited 
mostly by Indians hostile to the whites, each and all of 
whom fiercely disputed the settlement of the territory. 
To meet these conditions required men with nerves of 
iron and sinews of steel, and it is men of that caliber 
only that were instrumental in redeeming the great 
Southwest from the savage and opening the way for the 
stream of civilization which has since poured over its 
fertile plains. 

The family tradition says that Charles and Owen, in 

4 THE McCarthys 

course of time, returned to the seaboard and found a 
permanent location for settlement in one of the Virginia 
Counties bordering on Chesapeake Bay, and that they 
were among those who began the settlement known after- 
wards as the town of Kinsale, at the mouth of the Yeo- 
comico River, a branch of the Potomac, about the year 
1662. If that were true, it suggests the probability, as 
in the case of Charles McCarthy of Rhode Island here- 
inafter referred to, that these interesting pioneers came 
from Kinsale in the County of Cork and that the name 
of the Virginia town was selected in memory of their 
original home in Ireland.^ Kinsale, Va., is a place that 
is seldom heard of and it has grown but little in the 250 
years of its existence, though it appears to have been a 
place of much trade in tobacco in colonial days; its 
shipping was considerable at one time and although it 
gave promise of becoming a town of no small importance, 
yet, like many other old places in the South, it failed 
to fulfill expectations. 

But, despite the tradition, it is hardly probable that 
Charles and Owen McCartie were among the founders 
of Kinsale, because their names do not appear in any 
of the Virginia land records. It cannot be supposed that 
the "founders" of a town could be other than substantial 
colonists, and as nearly all men of standing and substance 
in those days were landed proprietors, since it does not 
appear that Charles or Owen McCartie received any 
grant of land from the Colony it must be assumed that 
they were employed in some lowly capacity. However, 
according to a statement made by Captain W. Page 
McCarty, a former editor of the Richmond Times, whose 
information was obtained from the papers of his father, 

2 Kinsale, Ireland, was the seat of one of the branches of the Mac- 
Carthy family. 


at one time Governor of Florida, "Colonels McClanahan, 
Andrew Wagoner and Major Richard McCarty of the 
Revolution were descendants of a small group of Irish- 
men who named the little town of Kinsale on the Po- 
tomac ahout 1662. Daniel McCarty, Speaker of the 
Virginia House of Burgesses in 1715, was of this set of 
people and was grandson of McCarty of Glencare. "^ 
Mr. William G. Stanard, Secretary of the Virginia 
Historical Society and one of the leading authorities on 
early Virginia history, informs me: "it is apparent that 
a group of immigrants from the South of Ireland located 
on the Rappahannock River some time between 1650 
and 1680, and although there is no tangible proof as to 
when or by whom the settlement was established, it is 
known that among those who comprised this early Vir- 
ginia colony were the families of McCarty, Travers, 
Rice and my own family, the Stanards." He has no 
further knowledge of the Irish colony "farther back 
than William Stanard who appears in Middlesex County 
on the Rappahannock about 1674," and "although there 
is no record of any marriage or connection with any fam- 
ily named Eaton, yet one of William Stanard 's grand- 
sons named a son Eaton Stanard, and as there was an 
Eaton Stanard, a lawyer of some prominence and Re- 
corder of Dublin about 1735, who belonged to a 
family of Stanards described as of Ballyhealy Castle 
in the County of Cork, the assumption is that the 
Stanard who came in the Irish colony alluded to was 
of the Cork family of the name." Accepting Mr. Stan- 
ard 's statement as correct that the Travers, the Mc- 
Cartys and the others came to Virginia about the same 
time, the statement as to the founding of the town of 
Kinsale "about the year 1662," would seem to be eon- 

3 Journal of the American Irish Historical Society; Vol. II, p. 165. 

6 THE McCarthys 

firmed, since Virginia records show that the Travers 
were in the colony in 1663, and in the books of the House 
of Burgesses of that year the head of the family is styled 
"Colonel William Travers."* 

Members of the Travers and Rice families are men- 
tioned several times in Virginia records in connection 
with the McCartys. The Travers were an old Cork 
family of probable English descent, and O'Hart names 
the Rices among "the chief Anglo-Norman and English 
families" who settled in the County of Kerry.^ The 
records of old Rappahannock County at Essex Court 
House show that Dennis McCartee was appointed on 
December 20, 1686, "Attorney for Rebecca Rice, wife 
of John Rice, a merchant of Rappahannock County, ' ' to 
give her consent to the execution of a deed, and, accord- 
ing to Hayden, compiler of Virginia Genealogies, in 
executing the deed Rice and his wife both used as seals 
the arms of the Rice family of Dingle, County Kerry. 
Their daughter is on record as marrying "William 
Travers, Gentleman," whose will also bears the Rice 
arms. This John Rice, his wife and his brother, James, 
were refugees from Ireland to the Island of Barbadoes 
and their names appear in the list of worshippers at 
St. Michael's Catholic Church, Barbadoes, in 1675, and 
on August 3, 1679, they are on record as receiving tickets 
to emigrate from Barbadoes to Virginia on the ship, 
Young William.^ When Daniel McCarty devised certain 
lands in Richmond County in 1724, his will said that 
these lands had been entailed on his, Daniel's, father by 
Captain John Rice, so it is probable that the McCartys 
and Rices were related either by blood or by marriage. 

With the exception of Charles and Owen, no other 

4 Hening's Statutes at Large; Vol. II, p. 330. 

5 Irish Pedigrees; Vol. I, p. 810. 

6 Hotten's Original Lists. 


immigrants of the name appear in the lists of passengers 
on the ships that arrived in Virginia up to the end of 
the seventeenth century, as far as I have been able to 
find. In all likelihood, Charles and Owen McCartie, 
or either of them, married, and some of the McCarties 
whom I have located in Virginia and the neighboring 
colonies were descendants of the immigrants of the 
Plaine Joane. The period of their removal to the vi- 
cinity of Chesapeake Bay is problematical, since there 
is nothing on record concerning it, and their permanent 
settlement in that part of the State prior to the estab- 
lishment of the town of Kinsale has no other authority 
than a family tradition. All available sources of in- 
formation such as land grants, parish registers, court 
files, wills and deeds and publications of the historical 
societies have been examined, but, with the single excep- 
tion of the reference to them in the records of Norfolk 
County, there is no trace of their names in any public 
records after their arrival in 1635. In the absence of 
this information, therefore, the authentic history of the 
family in Virginia begins with Dennis and Daniel Mc- 

In addition to the data secured from public records, 
Hayden's Virginia Genealogies furnish many interesting 
items linking the members of this family with other his- 
toric families of the South, although it is clear that 
Hayden erred in several instances, probably because he 
failed to examine all of the records or became confused 
through the constant appearance of members of differ- 
ent branches of the family bearing the same Christian 
names. The pedigree of this ancient family shows the 
Christian names, Tiege, Donal, Donogh, Finin and Cor- 
mac occurring generation after generation, and in the 
American branches we observe the constant recurrence 

8 THE McCarthys 

of the same given names, that is, the corresponding 
anglicized forms, Thaddeus, Daniel, Dennis, Florence 
and Charles respectively. Eoghan, or Owen, was also a 
popular name in the family, and there can be little doubt 
that the exiles of 1635, Charles and Owen McCartie, were 
of this family and were closely related to Dennis and 
Daniel of Virginia, as well as to Thaddeus and Florence 
MacCarty of Boston, hereinafter mentioned. 

So many McCartys appear in Virginia records and 
there are so many variations in the spelling of the sur- 
name, as well as many repetitions of the same given 
name in the ditlPerent branches of the family, that it is 
an extremely difficult matter to trace them and their 
numerous descendants. The name is found at various 
periods in the land books and court and church records 
of Eappahannock, Princess Ann, King George, North- 
umberland, Norfolk, Stafford, Fairfax, Westmoreland, 
Loudoun, Hampshire, Prince William, York, Isle of 
Wight and Richmond Counties, Virginia, beginning in 
some instances as early as the year 1675 and down to 
the present time, although their descendants are now 
scattered all over the Southern States. In the Virginia 
land books the name is spelled in several different forms, 
such as MacCarthy, McCarty, McCartee, MacCartoo, Mc- 
Cartie, Maccarty, Macartagh, Mackartee, Carty and 
Cartie. In all cases it was not in this country that the 
name was changed from its original form to "Carty" and 
"Cartie," because the pedigree of the family as pub- 
lished by O'Hart and other authorities shows several 
instances where the name was spelled without the prefix, 
"Mac," before any of the family came to the Colonies. 

The first mention of the name, aside from that of the 
two who came over in 1635, is found in the records of 
the Land Of&ee at Richmond, wherein it is seen that by 


deed dated September 21, 1675, one Edmund Moore 
conveyed to "Dennis MaeCartee of Rappahannock 
County" 250 acres of land, described as "lying on the 
Eastern Shore of Lynnhaven, at the time of the Survey 
in the County of Lower Norfolk, but now in Princess 
Ann County." For some reason that does not appear 
the title to these lands was further secured by patent 
dated October 20, 1692, from Governor Francis Nichol- 
son to Dennis Maccartee, and the document states that 
one hundred acres of the tract were "due unto the said 
Dennis Maccartee for the importation of two psons."'^ 
There is a reference also to a deed executed in Norfolk 
County in the year 1675, by which "Dennis Macartie" 
sold to Adam Keeling "250 acres of land fonnerly be- 
longing to Thomas Allen in Linhaven," although there 
IS nothing to show how he came into possession of these 
lands, and Edmund Moore sold to ' ' Dennis Macartagh ' ' 
150 acres "on the Eastern Shore of Lynnhaven" in the 
same year.^ 

The next entry in which he appears is on September 
15, 1691, in a grant of 250 acres described as "on the 
east and south sides of a branch of the Wiccocomo River 
in Northumberland County." In the patent for these 
lands his name is recorded as "Macarte," and curiously 
enough in the body of the document he is referred to as 
"the said Cartoo" and "the said Dennis Macarto," and 
in the margin of the patent there is a reference to him 
reading: "Cartoo, Mr. Dennis, p* 250 acres of land."» 
On October 16, 1691, he received a further grant of 250 
acres in Princess Ann County, and on October 29, 1697, 
Dennis Maccartee and Adam Keeling were granted a 
patent for 400 acres in the same County, "escheated 

7 State Land Office records; Book VIII, fol. 79. 

8 Records of Lower Norfolk County. 

9 Land Patents; Book No. 1, p. 117. 

10 THE McCarthys 

lands late in the possession of Jonathan Langsworth, 
deceased. ' ' ^° This latter Dennis Maccartee must have 
been a son of the first Dennis, since the latter died in 
the year 1694, as the probate of his will filed in Rich- 
mond (formerly Rappahannock) County shows. There 
was also a Dennis MacCartie who lived in Princess Ann 
County in 1693, described as ''old, lame and poor,"" 
but it is hardly possible that this could have been the 
first -mentioned Dennis, since he seems to have been a 
prosperous land owner. The patent of October 29, 1697, 
was granted by Governor Edmund Andros and in the 
original entry in the land book the name is spelled 
variously "Maccartie," "MacCarty" and "Maccar- 

The MacCarthys were not the only Irishmen who 
owned lands in Norfolk or Lower Norfolk County at 
this time, and indeed so many of their countrymen are 
mentioned in the early records of this part of the State 
that it would appear an Irish settlement was planted 
there sometime in the seventeenth century. Among the 
surnames which occur in the land and probate records 
of this part of Virginia between 1650 and 1700 are 
Barry, Brady, Burke, Carney, Condon, Connell, Connor, 
Corbett, Daly, Donnell, Dougherty, Foley, Fitzgerald, 
Grady, Gilligan, Higgins, Hayley, Hurley, Hayes, Joyce, 
Kelley, Lary, Mahoney, MacKroree, McEUalen, Mac- 
Kenny, Macdaniel, McCoy, McLenahan, Mulligan, Mur- 
phy, O'Neal, Piggott, Reilly, Shea, Sheane or Sheehan, 
Slavin and Sullivan. 

An unconfirmed tradition in the family says that 
Dennis MacCarthy of Rappahannock was a son of Justin, 

10 Land Patents; Book No. 9, p. 118. 

11 Statement of Mr. William G. Stanard; see Hayden's Tirginia Oeneal- 
ogies; p. 84 A. 

12 Land Patents; Book No. 9. 


Earl of Mounteashel, who succeeded to the title and 
estates of his father, Donoch or Dennis, Earl of Clan 
Carthy, on the latter 's death in the year 1665. Justin, 
Lord Mounteashel, married Arabella, daughter of the 
famous Thomas Wentworth, Earl of Strafford, although 
in the issue of this marriage, as listed by 'Hart, there 
is no mention of a son named Dennis. There are various 
conflicting statements as to the period of his settle- 
ment in Virginia. Dr. Lyon G. Tyler, a former presi- 
dent of William and Mary College and a well-known 
authority on early Virginia history, states that Dennis 
MacCarthy came to the colony "about 1670"; ^^ yet an- 
other historical writer names "1668"^* as the year of 
his marriage in Virginia. Still another historian in- 
timates that he settled first in Norfolk County in the 
year 1675. In the "Registry of American Families en- 
titled to Coat Armor," ^^ familiarly known as "Crozier's 
General Armory," the name is listed. The registry con- 
tains descriptions of nearly two thousand coats of arms, 
with the name of the first of the family in America in 
each case, the date of his arrival and the place of settle- 
ment, and in many instances the town or country whence 
he came. Under the name, McCarty, appears: "Den- 
nis McCarty of Norfolk, 1675," followed by a descrip- 
tion of the arms of the MacCarthy family of Ireland. 
While it is seen from these different dates that the 
exact period of Dennis MacCarthy 's advent in Virginia 
is not known for a certainty, it is clear that he was in 
the colony as early as 1675 and the best evidence is 
that in March of that year he married an English lady 

13 Encyclopedia of Virginia Biography; Vol. I, p. 288; New York, 1915. 

li Early Settlers in Alabama, by James B. Saunders and C. B. Stubbs ; 
p. 401; New Orleans, 1899. 

15 Edited by William Armstrong Crozier and published by The Geneal- 
ogical Association; New York, 1904. 

12 THE McCarthys 

named Elizabeth Billington, daughter of Luke Billing- 
ton of Farnham Parish, now in Richmond, but then in 
Rappahannock County. It is certain that he and his 
wife lived in or near Farnham Parish in 1678, since the 
register of Farnham Parish church on file in the County 
Clerk's office at Warsaw, Va., contains entries of the 
births of two of their children, namely "Catherine, 
daughter of Dennis and Elizabeth McCarthy," on April 
16, 1678, and "Daniel, son of Dennis and Elizabeth 
McCarthy," on March 19, 1684. It appears they had 
two other children named Florence and Dennis, but I 
am unable to obtain any information as to when or 
where they were bom. According to "Order Book 
No. I," Richmond County records, the "will of Dennis 
McCarthy" was admitted to probate on April 4, 1694,^® 
so that Hay den's statement that "Dennis died about 
1700"^" is obviously incorrect. 

We see from the foregoing extracts from the records 
that Dennis MacCarthy was the owner of a large estate 
in widely separated parts of Virginia in the closing years 
of the seventeenth century. From the place where he 
is first located in old Rappahannock County to Norfolk 
County, at the mouth of Chesapeake Bay, was a very 
considerable distance to cover in those days of Indian 
trails, bridgeless streams and virgin forests. He could 
not have managed his large interests in person, and no 
doubt his object in acquiring so much land was for the 
purpose of enabling his sons to carve out careers for 
themselves. He seems to have retained his plantation 
in Rappahannock County for himself, that in Norfolk 

16 Entries from "Order Book No. 1," reproduced in WUliam and Mary 
College Quarterly, Vol. 17. I am informed by the County Clerk that the 
book containing the record of Dennis McCarthy's will is not now in ex- 

17 Virginia Genealogies, p. 85. 


County he gave to his son Dennis, his estate in North- 
umberland County to Daniel, and his other son, Flor- 
ence, was the owner of a plantation in York County. 
These three became the founders of separate branches 
of the family whose descendants have since spread them- 
selves all over the United States. It appears there were 
three of the family named Dennis and three named 
Daniel, all in Virginia about the same period. These 
were : 

(1) Dennis of old Rappahannock, who first appears in 

the land records in 1675 and who had four chil- 
dren, viz. — ■ 

Catherine, born in Farnham Parish, April 16, 

Daniel, born in Farnham Parish, March 15, 

(2) Dennis, date and place of birth not ascertained ; 
Florence, date and place of birth not as- 

(3) Dennis of Princess Ann County, of whose descend- 

ants, if any, nothing is known. 

(1) Daniel, the above son of Dennis of Rappahannock. 

(2) Daniel of Westmoreland County, who was exiled to 

the colonies about 1692. 

(3) Daniel, who was appointed "King's Attorney for 

Rappahannock County" in 1692. 

The last-mentioned Daniel McCarty could not have 
been a son of Dennis of Rappahannock, since his son 
was only eight years old in 1692; nor could the King's 
Attorney have been the Daniel who was exiled about 
1692, because the latter was only thirteen years old at 
the time. It is possible that the "two psons" Dennis 

14 THE McCarthys 

MacCarthy brought to the Colony, and for whose ''im- 
portation" he received one hundred acres of land, as 
stated in the patent of October 20, 1692, were his sons, 
Dennis and Florence, which may be the explanation why 
there is no entry of their births in Virginia church rec- 
ords. Who the father of the King 's Attorney was there 
is nothing to indicate, although it may possibly have 
been the Dennis of Princess Ann County. The branches 
of the family tree, running in so many different direc- 
tions, make a very complicated problem to solve at this 
late day, especially when it is considered that two of 
the Daniels were known as "Captain" and each had 
sons named Daniel and Dennis, and it is hard to differ- 
entiate between the two when their names appear in 
public records. In many cases it is impracticable to 
determine the relationships which existed between the 
different persons of the name, without making an elabo- 
rate study of all the old records, and it is doubtful if 
even this could be done at all for the reason that some 
of the parish records and land and will books are not 
now obtainable. Besides, it is clear from a study of the 
available information, that some branches of the family 
became extinct through failure of the male line. Many 
of the papers and heirlooms of the family were de- 
stroyed in a fire at the home of one of the McCartys 
at Merry Point, Lancaster County, shortly after the 
Civil War, and I am informed that this house was the 
repository of much genealogical data relating to the 
early members of the family in Virginia. 

Hayden says that Daniel of Westmoreland County 
"probably" was a son of Dennis of Rappahannock,^® 
but he is clearly mistaken in that assumption, since it 
is known that Daniel of Westmoreland was a son of 

18 Yirginia Genealogies, p. 86. 


Donal MacCarthy, and the Famham Parish register 
shows that Daniel, son of Dennis, was bom in Virginia 
on March 19, 1684, and Captain William Page Mc- 
Carty, great-great-grandson of Daniel of Westmoreland, 
wrote that the latter was ' ' exiled by the Treaty of Limer- 
ick" (1691). Besides, the year of the death of Daniel 
of Westmoreland is shown on his tombstone at Montross, 
Va., as 1724 at the age of forty-five, while the Farn- 
ham Parish register gives the date of burial of Daniel, 
son of Dennis, as August 6, 1739. And the fact that 
Dennis resided in Virginia at least four years before 
Daniel was born again proves that Hayden 's assumption 
as to their having been father and son was an error, 
and that his genealogy of the family begins on a wrong 
basis. I think these facts are conclusive and it is plain 
that Hayden confused the different Daniels. 

All indications are that Dennis MacCarthy of Rappa- 
hannock was a near relative of Daniel, the Irish exile, 
and, if the tradition before referred to were correct, they 
were second cousins. Another well-known Virginia his- 
torian, also erred in his reference to the McCartys. 
Bishop William Meade,^^ in his "Old Churches, Ministers 
and Families of Virginia," '^^ says: "The McCartys of 
Virginia are an ancient family springing from Daniel 
and Dennis McCarty, who are first mentioned in 1710. 

19 This famous Churchman was a great-grandson of Andrew Meade, 
an emigrant from Ireland early in the eighteenth century. He was a 
native of County Kerry, the original home of the ancestors of the Mc- 
Cartys of Virginia. He was a Catholic, but conformed to the established 
church after his settlement in the colonies. Many references to him are 
found in Virginia colonial records. He is described as "a man of educa- 
tion and influence, a member of the Virginia House of Burgesses, Judge 
of the Court and Senior Colonel of Militia," and is said to have been 
"a man of great physical strength." He died in Nansemond County, 
Va., in 1745, "leaving behind him a stainless character and the title of 
'Andrew Meade, the Honest.' " His son, David Meade, in 1729 or 1730 
married, under romantic circumstances, a daughter of Sir Richard Ever- 
ard, Governor of North Carolina. — (Encyclopedia of Virginia Biography, 
by Dr. Lyon G. Tyler; Vol. IV, p. 76.) 

20 Vol. II p. 173. 

16 THE McCarthys 

This is obviously incorrect as to the year, since it is 
shown by the family records that Daniel came to the 
Colony about 1692 and all three Dennis McCartys were 
here many years before 1710. 

Daniel McCarty, King's Attorney for Rappahannock 
County, was appointed "Queen's Attorney" in 1707. 
In "Order Book No. 4, 1692-1709," Court records of 
Richmond County, at Warsaw, Va., under date of Feb- 
ruary 5, 1707, appears the following entry linking the 
names of John and Lawrence Washington with that of 
Daniel McCarty in connection with an action at law : 

"The Jury finds that Colonel John Washington, being seized 
of 1400 acres of land in Rappahannock County (since Rich- 
mond), by his last will gave the same to Anne, his daughter, 
who married Francis Wright, Gent., by whom he had a son, 
John, and we find that said Francis conveyed 200 acres to 
Lawrence Washington, George Eskridge and Daniel McCarty, 
Attorneys for the King." ^i 

Although King's attorney, Daniel McCarty also prac- 
ticed law in the County Courts and there are several 
cases of record where he appeared as counsel for private 
litigants. He also married into the Billington family, 
his wife having been Barbara, sister of the Elizabeth 
Billington who married Dennis of Rappahannock. Dan- 
iel McCarty and "his wife Barbary" are on record as 
executing a deed in Richmond County in 1698. In the 
nuncupative will of Luke Billington, Junior, given orally 
to his brother, McCarty Billington, on January 25, 
1686, probated March 11, 1687, he left legacies to his 
sister, Barbara McCarty, "my pistolls to little Daniell 
McCarty," and after providing for other bequests he 
directed that "the rest of my estate shall go to my 
cousins, your three children." This passage in the will 

21 Quoted in William and Mary College Quarterly, Vol. 17. 


indicates how relationships were sometimes styled in 
those days, because the three children of Barbara Mc- 
Carty, whom Luke Billington called his "cousins," were 
in reality his nephews. 

In the patents recorded at the Land Office in Rich- 
mond prior to 1666 there are 350 Irish names mentioned, 
nearly all "head rights," among whom were Elisa 
Macartee who arrived in the year 1653 and Mahan Carty 
in 1655.2' joi^n Macartey is mentioned in York County 
in the year 1681 as "a small farmer brawling with his 
neighbours, ' ' ^^ and Charles Macarthy is also mentioned 
in 1682, but in friendly transactions with his "neigh- 
bours." It is quite possible that this may have been 
the Charles McCartie who came over in 1635. Another 
Charles, whose surname is spelled "Mackartie," tame 
over in 1688 with Captain Francis Page to York County 
as a "head right," -* and when his term of service had 
expired he received an allottment of fifty acres of land. 
In Captain Page's list of "head rights" he also men- 
tioned the name of "Dennis Mackartie," showing that 
he brought over two of the name. There is no fur- 
ther mention of them in the records as far as I can 


Florence MacCarthy was a resident of York County 
in 1690, and since he is mentioned as "a son of Dennis 
MacCartie, the immigrant," that is a clear indication 
that the latter, while undoubtedly a native of Ireland, 
could not have been a descendant of either Charles or 
Owen who came over in 1635, and it also furnishes fur- 
ther proof of the fact that Dennis of Rappahannock 

22 See Early Immirjrants to Virpinia, a list of names of "head rights" 
appearing in the land grants, collected by George Cabell Greer, Clerk 
of the Virginia Land Office, and published under that title in 1912. 

23 York Records, 1675-1684. 

24 Ibid., 1687-1691, Vol. 139. 

18 THE McCarthys 

could not have been the "father" (as Hay den says) 
of the Daniel McCarty of Westmoreland County. In 
1705 Florence purchased a tract of land from one 
"William Jordan and in 1714 another tract from John 
Harrison. In 1711 he served on a jury in York County 
and in 1717 he was appointed ' ' Constable of the Upper 
Precinct of Bruton Parish." In the York books (1633- 
1700) at the Virginia State Library, there are at least 
two references to Florence MacCarthy. At a court 
held in York County on May 24, 1699, "fflorence Macarte 
hath order granted for an Attachment ag* y^ Estate of 
Mary Dyer, Adm'' of William Dyer of Yorke County, 
Deceased, in an Accon upon y® case for y* sum of one 
pound five shillings & a halfe penny farthing sterling by 
Account Returnable by y^ next Court." And at a ses- 
sion of the court held on September 25, 1699, ''fflorence 
MacKarte haveing brought suit agt Mary Dyer adm*"* 
of William Dyer Deced in an Accon upon y^ Case and 
now faileing to prosecute y® suite is dismist. " 

The fact that Florence MacCartie married Mary 
Wright, daughter of Dionysius Wright, would indicate 
that he was a man of some importance in that section of 
the Colony. Dionysius Wright was a lawyer practicing 
in York and James City Counties, and according to the 
Journals of the Council of Virginia he was appointed 
on December 5, 1700 "Clerke of y® Generall Assembly," 
and on August 27, 1701, he was "Clerke at y^ Confer- 
ence (consisting of a committee of Burgesses and Coun- 
cillors) to settle Indian affairs." Ann Washington, 
daughter of Colonel John Washington, married Frances 
Wright, a relative of Dionysius Wright. Florence and 
Mary MacCartie had issue : Florence, Dennis, Dionysius, 
Eleanor, Margaret, Mary and Anne.^^ In the church 

25 Parish Registers, Bruton Parish Church, Williamsburg, Va. Among 



register of Bruton parish his death is recorded under 
"March, 1717," and his will, executed on Saint Patrick's 
Day in that year, was proved in court on May 19, 1718, 
In this will he is described as "of Bruton Parish, York 
County." To his son, Florence, he gave "the dwelling 
plantation" and 101 acres of land, with the proviso that 
his wife was "to have all the rights she enjoyed during 
her husband's lifetime." Other bequests of lands and 
money he left to his sons, Dennis and Dionysius; to 
John he left "£50 in money to purchase him a seate of 
land," and various bequests to his four daughters. He 
directed especially that his sons were "to be educated 
and brought up to schooling, that is, that they be taught 
to read, write and to cypher as far until they are able to 
work out the rule of three, all out of the profits of ray 
estate." He signed his will "Flor MacCartie." His 
widow married Thomas Larke who undertook to manage 
the estate in the interest of the orphans, but in 1727 the 
court removed it from his control, charging him with 
"mismanagement," and thereupon "the children chose 
new guardians." 

Dionysius MacCartie married Elizabeth Power and 
had a son, James, who died in 1746. There was a Dr. 
James McCarty, a physician at Petersburg, Virginia, 

other names in the birth and death records of this church and the years 
in which they appear, are: 

Daniel Mecarte 1694 

John Casey 1703 

Denis Mecharte, son of 

Florence 1705 

Edward Powers 1710 

Abigail O'Brian 1719 

Florence McCarty 1719 

Richard Tobin 1723 

Daniel Murphy 1726 

Patrick Green 1729 

Daniel Cain 1735 

Catherine O'Connor 1737 

John McCarty 1747 

Elizabeth McCarty 1747 

William Swiney 1748 

William Dunn 1752 

Thomas Dunn 1762 

Michael McCarty 1762 

Katherine Dunn 1762 

Matthew Doran 1763 

Elizabeth Doran 1763 

Patrick Hyland 1764 

John Connilly 1764 

James McCarty 1767 

John McCarty 1767 

Nelly Connelly 1768 

20 THE McCarthys 

who is said to have been a son of James MacCartie, whose 
estate was administered in 1747 by John MacCartie. 
Many of the collateral descendants of the original Flor- 
ence MacCartie are mentioned in the records down to 
and beyond the period of the Revolution, but, as to the 
direct line, there is very little information available. 
His daughter, Eleanor, married Robert Drewry, son of 
John Drewry who was "Commissioner of Records in 
York County" in 1702; Anne MacCartie, bom June 25, 
1706, married Peter Oliver, a planter of Hampton Par- 
ish in York County. Their son, Peter, and his wife 
Ann who also seems to have been a McCarty, removed 
to the neighborhood of Petersburg, Va., some time be- 
fore the Revolution, where ten children were born to 
them. One of them was Rev. Florence McCarty Oliver 
of Elbert County, Georgia, who was born in Virginia in 
1775, and his son, also Florence McCarty Oliver, was 
born in Georgia in 1809. He had a son named John 
McCarthy Oliver who settled at Lafayette, Alabama. 
The Olivers were a very prominent Georgia family and 
their genealogy shows that through the succeeding gen- 
erations they preserved the McCarty name and It ap- 
pears occasionally in the family down to recent years. 
Perhaps the most interesting of all the pioneers of 
the name in America was Daniel McCarty of Westmore- 
land County, Virginia. There is no information avail- 
able as to the exact date of his arrival in the Colony, 
but it is evident that it was only a short time after the 
signing of the Treaty of Limerick, in October 1691, and 
in after years he is referred to prominently as the owner 
of large tracts of land in Virginia. As already stated, 
his father was Donal, son of Donough, Earl of Clan 
Carthy,-^ and was an officer of the Irish army that fought 

26 Burke, in his Landed Gentry of Great Britain and Ireland, says 


against King William. There was a Captain Donal Mac- 
Carthy taken prisoner at the siege of Cork in 1689 by 
Colonel Churchill, afterwards Duke of Marlborough, but, 
as to his ultimate fate, the Irish records are silent, al- 
though in all probability this was the father of Daniel of 
Virginia. D 'Alton, one of the historians of the "Wil- 
liamite War, ' ' states ^^i that when Lord Mountcashel was 
attainted in 1691 and again in 1696, "seventy-eight 
other Inquisitions of Outlawries were held on the Mac- 
Carthys, on whose confiscations various claims were held 
at Chichester House," and one of this number was 
Captain Donal MacCarthy. 

That Daniel McCarty came from Ireland when very 
young is clear from the following statement by one of 
his descendants : ^^ 

"Captain Daniel MeCarty was exiled by the Treaty of 
Limerick. He was a scion of the Irish house of McCarty. 
His silver, which I have, is all blazoned with the shield and 
crest of that house, and some of it bears the date of 1620. 
Though the tradition is that he was the Earl of Clancarthy, 
it is more likely that he was the son of Mount Cashel, the 
head of the younger branch of the family, as the helmet on 
the arms is a Knight's, not an Earl's, and that his people 
merely considered him the Earl after the elder branch became 
extinct, as represented in Ireland by the younger branches, 
than the Colonial one." 

In the "Williamite War" many of the MacCarthj'-s, 
with their retainers and followers, fought against Wil- 
liam of Orange and in Irish annals are mentioned sev- 
eral military officers of the name who espoused the cause 
of James the Second and fought at the Boyne and at 

that members of the line of Donough, Earl of Clan Carthy, came to 
America but he does not furnish the names. 

27 King James' Irish Army List; p. 491, Dublin, 1855. 

28 Letter dated October 9, 1884, from William Page McCarty of 
Richmond to Rev. Horace G. Hayden, compiler of Virginia Genealogies. 


Limerick. We are told that "the Sept of the Mac- 
Carthys furnished for the service of King James four 
regiments of their name, namely, the regiments of Clan 
Carthy, Mount-Cashel, MacCarthy Mor and MacCarthy 
Eeagh. The greater number of the officers bore the name 
of the Sept and these regiments afterwards passed into 
the service of France and in 1695 vrere resolved into 
other regiments. Many of the MacCarthys Reagh at- 
tached themselves to the service of Spain and several 
of their descendants were slain in the wars of succession 
to the crown of the two Sicilies. ' ' ^^ 

Once the Treaty was signed and Sarsfield, the com- 
mander at Limerick, had capitulated the English broke 
faith with the Irish, and, as Davis wrote in his cele- 
brated poem on "The Battle of Fontenoy," "the Treaty 
broken ere the ink with which 'twas writ could dry," 
the Irish officers, deprived of their properties and see- 
ing no future for them at home, prepared immediately 
to leave their native land forever. When the "Wild 
Geese ' ' ^" fled to the Continent after the Treaty of Lim- 
erick, some of the MacCarthys, broken in fortune like 
the sons of other noble families whose estates were con- 
fiscated to the Crown, followed King James to France 
and entered the service of the French King, and in the 
days of France's greatest military glory they received 
honorable mention as officers of the far-famed Irish Bri- 
gade.^^ Those of the family who remained behind in 
Ireland appear to have sunk into comparative inferiority 
and their fate thereafter was to become tenants or vassals 
of the new "owners" of their lands and castles. 

29 Historical Pedigree of the Sliochd Feidhlimdh, The MacCarthys of 
Oleannacroim, by Daniel MacCarthy Glas; p. 180, Exeter, Eng., 1849. 

30 The name given in Irish history to the refugees from Ireland to 
the Continent after the Treaty of Limerick. 

31 See History of the Irish Brigades in the Service of France, by 
John Cornelius O'Callaghan. 


Why Virginia instead of France or Spain was chosen 
as the future home of young Daniel McCarty, is not 
clear, except it be that Dennis MacCarthy, who undoubt- 
edly was a near relative, was already settled in that 
Colony. It is entirely unlikely th'at he came to this 
country alone and it is probable that he was accom- 
panied on his journey by some older guardian, and as 
there were several relatives of his father named Don- 
ough or Dennis it is possible that the Dennis McCarty 
of Princess Ann County, who in 1693 was described as 
''old, lame and poor," was a relative of the boy Daniel 
and that it was they who brought the family plate to 
America. Of Daniel's early years in Virginia no trace 
can be found in the public records, although it is likely 
that if all the family papers were accessible some inter- 
esting information concerning him could be obtained. 
How or where he spent the years of his boyhood or from 
what source he derived the education that made him 
so accomplished a man as to be elected a representative 
to the Virginia House of Burgesses at the age of twenty- 
six, and te^i years later Speaker of the House, is matter 
for interesting enquiry. 

That he was possessed of large means for his time 
is quite evident from the extent of his property and 
dealings, and that he occupied a position of social dis- 
tinction is attested by his being referred to in public 
documents as "Gentleman," "Esquire," etc., and by 
the standing of those with whom his name is constantly 
associated. The form of the name used by him invaria- 
bly was "McCarty" and it is spelled usually in that way 
in the records, although occasionally we also find the 
spelling "McCarthy"; as for instance, to the will of 
Colonel Rodham Kenner of the Parish of St. Stephens, 
dated July 26, 1706, as filed in Northumberland County, 

24 THE McCarthys 

"Daniel McCarthy" signed as one of the witnesses and 
the name is spelled in the same way in the record of his 
testimony before the court when the will was up for 
probate on August 21, 1706. The same form of the name 
was also used in the recording of a lease of a plantation 
dated January 24, 1746, from his son, "Daniel Mc- 
Carthy," to James Carter of Washington Parish, West- 
moreland County. 

Captain Daniel McCarty lived on his estate in the 
Parish of Cople, Westmoreland County, near the Rich- 
mond boundary line, and the fact of his settling in that 
County to where the original immigrants, Charles and 
Owen, are said to have removed some years before, would 
seem to confirm the theory that all three were related. 
He seems to have been particularly fortunate in the 
selection of a place to establish his home. Before his 
death his estate extended along both sides of the Rappa- 
hannock River in Westmoreland and Richmond Coun- 
ties, as well as in Stafford County, and across West- 
moreland almost as far as Nomini Creek where it drops 
into the Potomac. It is a place to which nature has 
been lavish with its gifts, having a salubrious climate 
and rich soil, and the numerous creeks and inlets along 
the Potomac boundary abound with the finest fish, oys- 
ters and wild fowl. This section also has practically 
unlimited deposits of marl, brick and pottery clay; the 
cities of Washington, Baltimore and Philadelphia are 
built largely from bricks made of Westmoreland County 
clay, and there are also large quantities of pure fuller's 
earth, principally along the streams. The slaves on their 
plantations excavated these rich deposits at very little 
expense, and for many years the industry was carried on 
by the MeCarty and neighboring families, in addition 


to the cultivation of tobacco which was shipped to Europe 
from the nearby wharves on the Potomac. 

Westmoreland County is one of the oldest settled parts 
of Virginia and in colonial days it was the home of 
wealth and influence. Indeed, it is by far the most 
historic section of the State ; many rich and aristocratic 
families have resided there and the County is dotted 
with some fine estates. Washington once called West- 
moreland "the garden of America," and it has the un- 
disputed distinction of having been the birth-place of 
some of the most eminent Americans, among them Gen- 
eral Washington and others of the Washington family, 
Richard Henry Lee and his three brothers, Thomas, 
Francis and Arthur, President Monroe and General Rob- 
ert E. Lee of Civil War fame. 

Daniel McCarty was married twice, first in 1703 to 
Mrs. Sarah Payne, widow of James Payne, and second 
in 1715 to Ann (Lee) Fitzhugh, daughter of Richard 
and Laetitia Lee of Mount Pleasant, Westmoreland 
County, and widow of Colonel William Fitzhugh of 
Eagle's Nest, King George County, who died in January, 
1714.32 ■^Qj.Q ^han a century later (on March 30, 1817), 
we see a re-uniting of the McCarty and Lee families 
when Anne, daughter of another Daniel McCarty, mar- 
ried Major Henry Lee, son of that famous Revolutionary 
General who is familiarly known as ' ' Light Horse Harry 
Lee." Major Lee served in the 12th U. S. Infantry in 
the war of 1812 and was private secretary to President 
Andrew Jackson and afterwards Secretary of the United 
States Legation at Paris.^^ He and his wife lived in a 
famous colonial mansion in Westmoreland County known 
as Stratford Hall, in which Richard Henry Lee, Fran- 

32 The Lee FamUy of Virginia; p. 83, Phila., 1895. 
Zilbid., p. 403. 

26 THE McCarthys 

cis Lightfoot Lee and General Robert E. Lee were born. 
A strong friendship was maintained between the suc- 
cessive generations of these two families and one of the 
McCartys, Mrs, Starke, sister of Anne (McCarty) Lee, 
was at one time the owner of Stratford Hall and lived 
in it up to the time of the Civil War, and on her death 
she left the manor house and one thousand acres of land 
to her nephew, Dr. Richard Stuart, whose family are 
said to be the present owners of the property.^* On 
August 28, 1802, Richard Stuart of Cedar Grove, King 
George County, married Margaret R. McCarty, widow 
of Daniel and mother of the Anne McCarty who mar- 
ried Major Lee. In later years Hancock Lee married 
Sarah McCarty, daughter of Colonel Daniel McCarty, 
and John McCarty married Ann Lucinda Lee. 

Between 1705 and 1715 Daniel McCarty was one of 
the ' ' Gentlemen Justices of Westmoreland County ' ' ^^ 
and was also for some time Sheriff of the County, and in 
the "official Letters of Alexander Spotswood, Lieutenant- 
Governor of the Colony of Virginia, 1710-1722," ^^ there 
is a letter dated September 5, 1711, in connection with 
"Proposals humbly offered to the hon'ble Commissioners 
of Her Majesty's Customs for the better preventing 
illegal Trade in the Colony of Virginia," in which "it 
was recommended to the Commissioners of Customs that 
Captain Daniel McCarty be appointed Collector of Po- 
tomack River." In 1705 and 1706 he was one of the 
representatives of the County in the Virginia Assembly. 
Verbatim copies of the Journals of the House of Burg- 
esses were published in several large volumes by the 
Commonwealth of Virginia, and these Journals show 

34 Manors of Virginia in Colonial Times, pp. 87-88, by Edith T. 
Sale, Phila. and London, 1909. 

35 WUliam and Mary College. Quarterly; Vol. 27, p. 28. 
38 In Va. Hist. Soc. Collections; Vol. I, p. 115. 


that on October 26, 1705, the House "Resolved that 
Mr. George Eskridge and Mr. Daniel McCarty are Duly 
Returned Burgesses to Serve in this Present General 
Assembly for the County of Westmoreland,^^ and in 
the same month Daniel McCarty was appointed one of 
the four members of the ' ' Committee for Elections and 
Priviledges. " That he took a forward part in the de- 
liberations of the Assembly and served on several im- 
portant committees during his terms of office, is seen 
from these Journals, and from 1705 to 1720 his name 
appears therein not less than 240 times. 

On August 3, 1715, he was elected Speaker of the 
House of Burgesses, succeeding Peter Beverley, and on 
April 23, 1718, he was re-elected to the same important 
office. We are told that the session of 1715, over which 
Daniel McCarty presided, was "chiefly memorable for 
a bitter quarrel between Governor Spotswood and the 
House of Burgesses, " ^^ and the session of 1718 is also 
described in the preface to the printed Journals as "one 
of the most exciting that occurred in Virginia colonial 
history." In that year there was a bitter quarrel be- 
tween members of the House and Governor Spotswood 
and in the circumstances it required much tact and good 
judgment on the part of the presiding officer to meet the 
situations that presented themselves. Usually, the 
Speaker of the House also was Treasurer of the Colony, 
but during Daniel McCarty 's second term as Speaker, 
Beverley retained the office. McCarty seems to have 
been held in high esteem by his fellow members and 

87 Journals of the Rouse of Burgesses of Virginia. See also The 
Colonial Virginia Register, compiled by William G. and Mary N. Stan- 
ard, p. 97; Albany, N. Y., 1902. Also Hening's Statutes at Large, 
Vol. IV. In a "Table showing the General Assemblies of Virginia 
from 1661 to 1758," in the Virginia Magazine of History and Biog- 
raphji (Vol. XIV, pp. 408-410) he is listed as "Dan McCarty, Esq. 

38 Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XII, p. 366. 

28 THE McCarthys 

on May 29, 1718, the House passed the following reso- 
lution : ' ' That the Sume of One hundred pounds out of 
the money in the Treasurer's hands be paid to the 
Speaker as a Token of the Respect this House beares 

In 1720 there was considerable agitation in the North- 
em Neck of Virginia over some features of the tobacco 
law, and the matter became an issue at the elections 
held in that year. Daniel McCarty and Thomas Lee 
were the nominees for the Assembly and the Sheriff de- 
clared Lee the successful candidate, but, on November 
5, 1720, a "Petition of Mr. Daniel McCarty, complain- 
ing of an undue Election and Return of Thomas Lee, 
Gent., to serve in this present Assembly for the County 
of "Westmoreland," was presented to the House. It 
was referred to the ' ' Committee for Elections and Privi- 
ledges," and the report of the committee and the evi- 
dence presented before it occupy considerable space in 
the records of the Assembly. In the meantime, Lee 
actually sat as the representative of the County, but on 
the committee reporting that "the Sheriff made a false 
Return of the said Thomas Lee," the House directed 
"that the Sheriff be sent for in Custody of the Messen- 
ger to rase out of his Return the Name of Mr. Thomas 
Lee and instead thereof insert the Name of Mr. Daniel 
McCarty." On December 8th following, a resolution 
was passed by the House declaring "that Mr. Daniel 
McCarty is duly Elected a Burgess to Serve in this 
present General Assembly for the County of Westmore- 

Virginia records subsequent to this period also show 
that other members of the family were active in local 
politics, and among those who are mentioned in the pub- 

39 Journals of the Bouse of Burgesses. 


lie records as occTipants of high stations in the eouneils 
of the Colony and the State were : Dennis McCarty and 
Daniel McCarty (2nd), who represented Prince William 
and Westmoreland Counties respectively in the House 
of Burgesses between 1732 and 1744; Daniel McCarty 
(3rd), delegate to the Convention of Virginia in 1775; 
Charles McCarty, who represented Richmond County 
at an adjournment of the same body in May, 1776 ; 
Daniel McCarty (4th), representative from Westmore- 
land County in the House of Burgesses from 1781 to 
1794, and in the Virginia Senate from 1797 to 1801 he 
was Senator from the three Counties of Westmoreland, 
Stafford and King George; Daniel McCarty (5th), who 
succeeded his father in the General Assembly in 1795 ; 
Colonel William McCarty of Richmond County, who was 
Speaker of the House of Representatives in 1799 ; Colo- 
nel Edward McCarty, who represented Hampshire 
County in the General Assembly from 1814 to 1821; 
Captain John Mason McCarty, member of the House 
of Delegates in 1818-1819, and lastly William Mason 
McCarty, who served in thirteen sessions of the Virginia 
Senate, was Representative in Congress from Loudoun 
County from 1833 to 1839 and for sometime was Pro- 
visional Governor of Florida.*'' 

Among the memorials to certain historic figures in 
American history in Bruton Parish Church at Williams- 
burg, there is a bronze tablet commemorating seven of 
the Speakers of the Virginia House of Burgesses who 
were worshippers at this church, and one of the names 
inscribed thereon is that of "Daniel McCarty, 1715-18." 
Bruton is a church of historic associations and has held 
a position of unique importance in Virginia history, 

40 Register of the General Assembly of Virginia, published by the State 
Library; Richmond, 1918. 

30 THE McCarthys 

Nearby were the Governor's Palace, the College of Wil- 
liam and Mary and the halls of the House of Burgesses, 
and when public celebrations were held in Colonial times, 
in which the government or the legislature was inter- 
ested, it was customary for the Governor to attend Bru- 
ton Church surrounded by the Burgesses and officials 
of the Colony. Washington attended this famous church 
while seeking to win the heart and hand of the beautiful 
Martha Custis, and Patrick Henry while Governor of 
Virginia in 1776, Edmund Pendleton, Benjamin Harri- 
son, Edmund Randolph, Bland and Lee while members 
of the House of Burgesses, George Wythe the Signer, 
Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, John Tyler, Chief 
Justice Marshall and many prominent figures in Amer- 
ican history appear in the lists of its worshippers and 

Comparatively little is known, even among his living 
descendants, of the career of Daniel McCarty, but the 
fact that this Irish exile rose to the commanding position 
occupied by him for several years in the society and 
politics of the Colony, stamps him at once as a man of 
rare virtues and qualifications. In the mutations of time 
the original possessions of the family in Westmoreland 
County have passed gradually into other hands, and as 
far as I could learn on a hurried trip through that 
County, there is now no trace of any person of the name 
in that particular part of the State, although there are 
several McCartys in the adjoining Counties of Lan- 
caster and Richmond. Many of the present inhabitants 
of Westmoreland County are descendants of its early 
settlers; they have a conscious and justifiable pride in 
their ancestry, but few can be found among them who 
have any knowledge of or seem to take any interest in 
the career of the distinguished Irish exile, who became 


a leader among the Cavaliers of Virginia and who is 
mentioned so prominently in the annals of the State, 

Dennis and Daniel McCarty undoubtedly were brought 
up Catholics in Ireland, but, like nearly all the Irish 
Catholic immigrants to the colonies, they were obliged 
to renounce the faith and conform to the established: 
church. Cople Parish, where Daniel resided, occupied 
the lower part of Westmoreland County and Washington 
Parish the upper part. There were two Protestant 
Episcopal churches in Cople Parish, one at Yeocomico 
near Montross and the other about ten miles east, on 
Nomini Creek near the Potomac, and it is known that 
Daniel McCarty and his family attended both churches. 
The church in Washington Parish, which it is said the 
McCartys also attended occasionally, was known as 
Pope's Creek church. I am informed that the birth 
and marriage records of Yeocomico church have been 
destroyed and also the registers of Pope 's Creek church, 
which were kept at Montross until about twenty years 
ago. The dates of the births and baptisms of Daniel 
McCarty 's children, therefore, are not obtainable, but 
his will shows that four sons and four daughters survived 
him, and the fact that he named one of his sons Billing- 
ton, indicates that he was a near relative of the Dennis 
and Daniel McCarty before alluded to as having mar- 
ried into the Billington family. 

Yeocomico church was erected in the year 1706, ac- 
cording to the date engraved in the wall over the front 
door, and so well was it built that it is said by those 
acquainted with its history that part of the original 
building still remains. In the year 1906, when the 
parishioners celebrated the bicentennial of the found- 
ing of the church, the committee in charge published 
a short account of its history, and from this we learn 

32 THE McCarthys 

that it suffered much during the war of the Revolution, 
having been shamefully abused by soldiers who were 
quartered in it, and Bishop Meade also says that "the 
church at Nominy was destroyed by fire during the 
war of 1812 and the plate belonging to it carried off by 
Admiral Cockburn and his party when they were on a 
pillaging expedition on the Potomac and its tributaries, 
and the house where it was kept was plundered and 
burned. "^1 

Yeocomico is as quaint as its name and its church 
is said to be "the only one of the old church buildings 
of Westmoreland County which has escaped the gen- 
eral wreck." It is situated near Yeocomico Creek about 
fourteen miles north of the town of Kinsale, established 
by the MeCartys and other Irishmen about two and a 
half centuries ago. It is in the form of a cross, and 
situated as it is in a little recess off the main road, in 
the midst of large trees and surrounded by an old brick 
wall, it cannot fail to be an object of interest to one 
whose soul has any sjrmpathy for such scenes. Bishop 
Meade relates that during the war of 1812 the church, 
which at that time was abandoned temporarily, was 
occupied by troops, that "the communion table was 
removed into the yard where it served as a butcher's 
block and was entirely defaced, and the baptismal font 
was taken some miles from the church and used as a 
vessel to prepare the excitements of ungodly mirth." 
This, however, was not long permitted, for he relates, 
"a worthy old man named John Murphy, mortified at 
the dishonor done to religion, took pains to regain it 
and restore it to its former place." And, "it deserves 
further to be mentioned," says Bishop Meade, "that 
whatever repairs have been put upon this house were 

41 Old Churches and Families of Virginia; Vol. II, p. 148. 


at the expense of the good man mentioned above 
(Murphy) and a worthy gentleman from New York 
whose matrimonial connection in the family often 
brought him to this part of Virginia. ' ' *^ 

In Yeocomico churchyard are pointed out the graves 
where rest the remains of many of the early settlers of 
Westmoreland County. Close to the base of the east 
wall of the church may be seen the stone foundation 
of a vault which seems to be one of the oldest in this 
ancient graveyard, but it is now a neglected mound of 
earth and grass, the accumulation of nearly two cen- 
turies, with several cedar trees growing upon it and 
firmly rooted in the spot where the Irish exile after 
the Treaty of Limerick was laid to rest. Near the center 
of this mound is a tombstone which evidently has suf- 
fered from the ravages of time, and upon this stone, 
immediately under what appears to be a crude repro- 
duction of the MacCarthy coat of arms and the motto 
of the family, is the following inscription, although the 
lettering is now almost indecipherable: 

"Here lyeth the body of Daniel McCarthy who departed 
this life on the fourth day of May, 1724, in the 45th year 
of his age. He was endowed with many virtues and good 
qualifications, but the actions proceeding from them bespeak 
their praise. Here also lyeth the body of Thaddeus Me- 

42 The "worthy gentleman from New York" referred to by Bishop 
Meade, was William L. Rogers, who had command of a body of troops 
who occupied the church during the war of 1812, and who repaired 
the damages caused by the English vandals that preceded them. In 
a letter to Bishop Meade, Captain Rogers described Murphy as "a 
■Scotch gentleman from Ayrshire," who lived about half a mile from 
old Yeocomico, and "whose estate, consisting of some thousands of 
acres, surrounded the church and burial grounds on all sides." Rogers 
further referred to Murphy as "a gentleman of intellectual culture, an. 
honored magistrate and a Presbyterian of the Covenant School, whosa 
residence was the seat of hospitality and the home of the clergy." In 
the "Journal of the Transactions of the Virginia State Agricultural 
Society" (p. 114) it is stated that "John Murphy is believed to have 
been the first to introduce a threshing machine la the Northern Neck 
of Virginia." 

34 THE McCarthys 

Carthy, the youngest son of Daniel McCarthy, Esqr. who de- 
parted this life the 7th of February, 1731, in the 19th year of 
his age. Near this place likewise is the body of Penelope, 
wife to Daniel McCarthy, second son of Daniel McCarthy, 
Esqr. and daughter to Christine Higgins, Gent, who departed 
this life the 26th of March, 1732, in the 19th year of her 
age with one child." *^ 

Apparently, the first lands he owned were acquired 
by purchase from John Glendenning and his wife, as 
appears from a deed dated March 27, 1697, recorded in 
Richmond County. When examining the records of 
Patents at the Virginia Land office, the earliest entry 
I could find covering a grant to Daniel McCarty is 
March 11, 1703, on which date ' ' Marguritte, Lady Cul- 
peper, Thomas, Lord Fairfax, and Catherine, his wife. 
Proprietors of ye Northern Neck of Virginia, ' ' conveyed 
to Daniel McCarty and Daniel Tebbs 1350 acres of 
land, described as "on ye East side of ye mouth of 
Mackotique River and extending along Potomack River 
East by North,"** etc. These lands were situated in 
Westmoreland County and were patented originally by 
one Richard Cole on November 18, 1650, but as Cole 
and his wife died without heirs or legally disposing of 
their property, the land was escheated. In the patent 
to McCarty and Tebbs the proprietors reserved for them- 
selves ' ' all Royall mines ' ' and one-third part of all min- 
erals found on the land, and it provided for ' ' a f ee rent 
of one shilling sterling money for each fifty acres of 
land hereby granted, to be paid on the feast day of 
Saint Michael the Archangel. " *^ In fact, all deeds from 

43 From a copy of the inscription in William and Mary College 
Quarterly, Vol. VII, p. 97. The spelling of the surname on the 
tombstone seems to be "McCarty," but the spelling as given in this 
authoritative publication is "McCarthy." 

44 Land Patents, Book III, p. 23. 

45 Ihid. 


the proprietors at this time and for many years there- 
after contained this provision. 

In a grant from the proprietors dated January 28, 
1707, they conveyed to Daniel McCarty certain other 
lands in "Westmoreland County, which he "surveyed 
by virtue of a warrant from the Proprietors, dated July 
3, 1706," and in this document he is styled for the first 
time *' Captain" Daniel McCarty, and the patent con- 
tained the usual reservations as to " royall mines, ' ' min- 
erals and fee rent,*^ He received another grant on 
February 2, 1709, of 2993 acres "above the Falls of 
Potowmack River, beginning on said River side at the 
lower end of the Sugar Land Island opposite to the 
upper part of the rocks in said River. "^^ By deed 
dated December 19, 1716, "the Right Hon^^« Catherine, 
Lady Fairfax, Sole Proprietor of the Northern Neck 
of Virginia," conveyed to Captain Daniel McCarty 648 
acres situated "on the south side of the main run of 
Accotinck Creek in Stafford County, as surveyed by 
Simon Council on September 26, 1714," but which he 
(Connell) had "allowed to lapse through noncomply- 
ance with the rules of the Proprietor's Office." *^ This 
tract fell into Fairfax County when that County was 
formed from Stafford and was adjacent to the property 
of the Washingtons. Again by deed dated December 
5, 1722, Lord Fairfax conveyed other lands in Cople 
Parish to Daniel McCarty .^^ 

These grants by no means cover all of Daniel Mc- 
Carty 's landed property, and the number of deeds and 
conveyances recorded in Virginia between 1697 and the 

46 Land Patents, Book III, p. 182. 

i7 Ibid., Book III, p. 248. 

48 Ibid., Book V, p. 129. 

49 Ibid., Book A, p. 3. 


THE McCarthys 

year of his deatli covering transfers of real estate in 
Rielimond County to and from Daniel McCarty, alone 
are sufficient to indicate the extent of his holdings. 
Among the legal instruments recorded in the office of the 
County Clerk at Warsaw, Va., are the following deeds 
for lands in that County: — 





March 27 

John Glendenning & wife 




June 15 

Daniel McCarty 




August 25 

Samuel Samford 
( Philip Rogers 
I Vincent Cox 




April 2 




April 2 

John Sabre & wife 
5 John Davis, Sr. 




October 1 

' 1 John Davis, Jr. 




October 2 

1 Charles Barber 




July 7 

1 George Glascock 




January 4 

Webley Pavey 




Au^st 31 





November 30 

Benjamin Hinds & wife 




May 2 

Robert Baylis & wife 




June 5, 

Samuel Randal & wife 




May 5 

William Fauntleroy 




July 13 

Robert Baylis & wife 



Daniel McCarty 's landed property was situated in 
four Counties, Westmoreland, Richmond, Prince Wil- 
liam and Stafford, and four years after his death his 
executors acquired for the estate another tract of land 
in Spottsylvania County.^*' His will, dated March 29, 
1724, was proved in Westmoreland County on May 27, 
1724 51 Tiie inventory of his estate, taken June 15th 
of the same year, included ''The Library of Colonel 
Daniel McCarty of Westmoreland County, Esquire." 
It was an extensive collection for the time, and judging 
by published accounts of other libraries owned by promi- 
nent colonial families, evidently it was one of the im- 
portant private libraries in Virginia.^^ In his will he 

50 Extracts from Deed Book A, in Virginia County Records, Vol. 1, pp. 

51 Probate Records, Book 8, p. 52. 

62 William and Mary College Quarterly, Vol. VIII. 


disposed of a large estate in lands, houses, slaves, jewelry 
and plate of great value, and he named among the 
legatees his sons, Dennis, Daniel, Billington and Thad- 
deus, and daughters, Winifred, Sarah, Lettiee and Anna 
Barbara, the last-mentioned having been the wife of 
one of his executors, John Fitzhugh of Stafford County. 
To his eldest son, Dennis, he gave his personal property 
including the family plate brought from Ireland, the 
"home plantation" and other real estate in Stafford 
and all his "debts in that County"; to Daniel he gave 
lands in Westmoreland County; to Billington his land 
at Farnham Creek in Richmond County; to Thaddeus 
his land at Mango rite in Richmond County, "which was 
Captain John Rice's." This was the John Rice of 
Dingle, County Kerry, already mentioned. To his 
daughters he left cash bequests of £500 each. The will 
is a very long document and is couched in all the ex- 
travagant phraseology of the day. It shows this exiled 
Irishman to have been a man of fine characteristics, as 
witness the fact that he directed his sons "to be edu- 
cated, one a lawyer, one a divine, one a physician, one 
a chirurgeon or mariner in the Secretaries' office, or 
to any lawful employment as their inclination leads 
them, but rather to the ax and hoe than suffered in 
idleness and extravagancy. ' ' 

It is strange that there is so little mention of this 
pioneer Irishman in Virginia history. Nor is there any 
place in the State called after him or any of his numer- 
ous descendants; yet he occupied a prominent place 
in the society of the Colony and his children married 
into some of the leading families of the day. The only 
places where any mention of his name can be found are 
in the official records of the Colony, in the land and 
court records of the day, in the birth, marriage and 

38 THE McCarthys 

death registers of the districts where he and his family- 
resided, and in the genealogies of the families with whom 
the McCartys intermarried. But, as for giving him a 
place in history, the historians are peculiarly silent! 

The will of Mrs. Ann McCarty, widow of Daniel, 
dated November 7, 1728, and probated in Westmoreland 
County on May 3, 1732, named several members of the 
Fitzhugh family, as well as Thaddeus and Billington 
McCarty, as sharing in the bequests. She died in the 
year 1732. 

The estate of Daniel McCarty was the subject of two 
actions in Chancery in the Courts of Virginia, "for the 
accounting of a trust estate," one styled "McCarty vs. 
McCarty 's Executors" and the other "McCarty vs. 
Fitzhugh," Daniel McCarty having been the plaintiff 
in both suits, and the papers in the second case describe 
him as "a lawyer." Complete descriptions of these law- 
suits with the decisions of the Judge may be found in 
the "Decisions of the General Court of Virginia" edited 
by Robert T. Barton.^^ 

53 Vol. I, pp. R112-113 and Vol. II, p. B34; Boston, 1909. 



The descendants of Daniel, the Speaker — Romantic marriage of 
Dennis McCarty and Sarah Ball — ^Their children were cousins 
of George Washington — Thaddeus McCarty married in Wash- 
ington's home — Colonel Daniel McCarty, the "well-beloved 
friend" of Augustine Washington and executor of his will — 
Associated with eminent Virginians — George Washington's 
Diary frequently mentions the McCartys — Correspondence be- 
tween Washington and Daniel McCarty — The McCarty family 
invited to attend the funeral of Washington — Eleven McCar- 
tys members of the Virginia legislature since 1705. 

Dennis, eldest son of Captain Daniel McCarty, in- 
herited the ' ' home plantation ' ' in "Westmoreland County 
as well as his father's lands in Stafford County. In the 
land office at Richmond there is a deed recorded on 
March 25, 1727, from Lord Fairfax, whereby he con- 
veyed to Dennis McCarty 522 acres of land ''upon the 
upper side of Accotink Creek in Stafford County,"^ 
and another as of February 20, 1729, from Lord Fair- 
fax to "Dennis MacCarty of the County of Stafford, 
Gent.," conveying to him a tract of land on the north 
side of Pohick Run,^ and in both deeds the boundary 
lines on three sides are described as McCarty 's own 
lands. In 1724 Dennis married Sarah Ball of the noted 
Virginia family of that name who lived at Ball's Creek 
in Lancaster County. In the marriage register at Lan- 
caster court house there is a letter dated September 21, 
1724, from William Ball to Thomas Edwards, Clerk 
of Lancaster County, asking **for a license for mar- 

1 Land Patents, Book B, p. 53. 

2 Ibid., Book 0, p. 31. 


40 THE McCarthys 

riage between Mr. Dennis MeCarty of Copeland Parish, 
Westmoreland County, and my daughter, Sarah Ball," 
and the marriage was solemnized in Cople Parish church 
on the day following the issuance of the license. The 
Balls are referred to by Virginia historians as "one of 
the best families in Virginia" and tradition says that 
Sarah was "a girl of acknowledged charm," and, that 
Dennis McCarty must have been a young man of highly 
polished manners and agreeable personality, is appar- 
ent from the fact that he was acceptable to "the old 
Cavalier, William Ball," as a suitor for the hand of 
his daughter in marriage. 

Sarah Ball 's youthful charms must have created havoc 
in more than one susceptible heart. There is a roman- 
tic story told in the family how another aspirant for 
the hatid of the fair Sarah, mortified at his failure, 
maue use of some derogatory remarks concerning his 
more fortunate rival ; how Dennis McCarty came down 
to Lancaster and threatened to chastise the rash youth 
in public in front of the courthouse, it being during 
a term of court, one of the few occasions when the 
people of the County assembled in any numbers; how, 
on his rival tendering him an apology, he gi^aciously 
invited him to attend the wedding. As the story goes, 
the occasion was "one of the events of the season" in 
those parts, and, that Dennis and his friends made the 
most of it, we may judge when we are told that they 
drove to Ball's Creek in a large coach drawn by six 
splendid black horses, with grooms and lackeys as out- 
riders, and returned with the bride and bridesmaids to 
Cople Parish church, where the ceremony was performed, 
after which days were spent in festivity and rejoicing 
and hunting parties formed by the gay young bloods 
of the neighborhood. 


This union resulted in a most interesting and his- 
toric relationship between the Washington, Ball and 
McCarty families. According to the genealogy of the 
Ball family, Sarah was born in Westmoreland County 
"between 1700 and 1705" and was a granddaughter of 
William Ball, an immigrant to Virginia in the year 
1650. This William Ball had two sons, William and 
Joseph. William Jr. was the father of Sarah Ball and 
Joseph was the father of Mary Ball. As already stated, 
Sarah Ball became the wife of Dennis McCarty and 
had three sons, Daniel, Thaddeus and Dennis, and two 
daughters, Anne and Sarah McCarty. Sarah Ball's first 
cousin, Mary Ball, married Augustine Washington on 
March 6, 1730, and to this union was born the illus- 
trious "Father of his Country"; so that Daniel, Thad- 
deus, Dennis, Anne and Sarah McCarty, grandchildren 
of the Irish exile, Daniel McCarty, enjoyed the rare 
distinction of having been second cousins of the im- 
mortal Washington! That the friendship between the 
Washington and McCarty families, which had been of 
long standing, was firmly cemented by this interesting 
union, is indicated by an account of the marriage on 
April 20, 1768, of Sarah Richardson and Thaddeus, 
nephew of the above-named Dennis, which appears in 
William and Mary College Quarterly.^ This account 
says: "According to tradition, the marriage ceremony 
took place in the home of George Washington, who was 
related to the McCartys through the Balls." 

In the year 1730 the present Prince William County 
was formed from Stafford and we find the name of 
Major Dennis McCarty recorded as a Justice of the new 
County in 1731. In the same year he was elected a 
representative to the House of Burgesses from Prince 

3 Vol. 22, p. 187. 

42 THE McCarthys 

William County, serving until 1734. His attendance 
at the sessions of the House seems to have been inter- 
mittent, and the records of the Assembly show that on 
June 27, 1732, the House "ordered that Mr. Dennis 
McCarty have Leave to go Home for Recovery of his 
Health," and a similar resolution was passed on Sep- 
tember 28, 1734. Two years later he was defeated for 
reelection, but he contested the seat and on September 
17, 1736, "A Petition of Mr. Dennis McCarty was pre- 
sented to the House and read, complaining of an undue 
Election and Return of Mr. Peter Hedgman to serve 
as Burgess in this present General Assembly for the 
County of Prince William. " * It was a long document 
detailing alleged "undue practices" of his opponent and 
friends, which prevented many of the freeholders of the 
County from voting for McCarty, and the latter de- 
clared that in any event he had "the greater Number 
of Legal Voters upon the Poll." The controversy con- 
tinued for two years, but on November 9, 1738, Dennis 
McCarty was granted "leave to withdraw his petition" 
and thereupon Peter Hedgman was declared dul}' elected. 
Another "petition of Dennis McCarty" also appears 
in the records of the General Assembly of November 
6, 1738. It prayed "that Leave may be given to bring 
in a Bill to dock the Entail of Five Hundred acres of 
Land in the Parish of Lunenburg in the County of Rich- 
mond, and for settling other Lands of greater value in 
the County of Prince William to the same Uses," but 
on November 27 of the same year McCarty withdrew his 

In 1741 Prince William County was divided and the 
eastern part of the County became known as Fairfax. 
Dennis McCarty 's homestead was situated on Pohick 

4 Journals of the House of Burgesses. 


River in what is now Fairfax County and that of his 
brother, Daniel, was at Cedar Grove in the same County 
about fourteen miles below Alexandria, where the Po- 
hick and Accotink Creeks pour their waters into the 
Potomac. Daniel's lands adjoined the estate of the 
Washingtons whose home at Mount Vernon between 
1735 and 1739 was about five miles west of that of Daniel 
McCarty. The famous Truro Parish is in this vicinity 
and all of these families and the gentry from the sur- 
rounding neighborhood are recorded among the wor- 
shippers at old Pohick church in Truro Parish, which 
was one mile south of Pohick Run until 1772, when 
a new site was selected about a mile north of the Run. 
Augustine, Lawrence and George Washington, Dennis 
and Daniel McCarty and other prominent men of Prince 
William, Fairfax and Stafford Counties served as Vestry- 
men of the parish at various times, and indeed the very 
first name which appears in the parish book as vestry- 
man between 1732 and 1741 is that of Dennis McCarty. 
Augustine Washington was sworn in as vestryman of the 
parish on November 18, 1735. 

The Vestry Book opens with a reference to the Act 
of the General Assembly instituting the parish, the 
election of the vestry and the proceedings at its first 
meeting. The Act prescribed that the sheriff of the 
County should summon the freeholders and housekeepers 
and elect so many of "the most able and discreet per- 
sons in said parish as shall make up the number of 
Vestrymen in the said parish twelve and no more, ' ' and 
at its initial meeting on November 7, 1732, Dennis Mc- 
Cart}^ Charles Broadwater, Richard Osborn, John Lewis, 
Gabriel Adams, Edward Emms, John Heryford and 
Edward Barry were elected. Barry was nominated for 
Clerk and served in that capacity for several years 


THE McCarthys 

and in 1743 his brother, John Barry, was elected Clerk 
and served until 1775. It is also of interest to note, 
as showing there were other early Irish settlers in this 
locality, that when searching for the names of those 
who appear in the public records of this section, I found 
the name of Dennis McCarty listed in a "Poll for the 
Election of Burgesses for the County of Prince William. 
A. D. 1741," and among his fellow- voters and freeholders 
were : 

Edward Barry 
Darby Callahan 
Luke Cannon 
Dennis Conniers 
Thomas Carney 
Samuel Conner 
James Cullens 
James Curry 
Thomas Conway 
Andrew Dalton 

William Davy 
Michael Dermond 
Joseph Dulany 
Edward Feagan 
Owen Gilmore 
James Halley 
Patrick Hamrick 
Richard Higgins 
William Hogan 
John Madden 

John Murphey 
Henry Murphey 
Gabriel Murphy 
Daniel McDaniel 
James McGlahan 
William Reardon 
Michael Regan 
Michael Scanlon 
William Teague 
Thomas Welsh 

In the History of Truro Parish, by the noted histori- 
ographer of the Church in Virginia, Rev. Philip Slaugh- 
ter, it is said that "the first regular rector of Truro 
Parish" was Rev. Charles Green who was appointed by 
the Vestry on August 13, 1737. Dr. Slaughter describes 
him as "a Doctor of Medicine before he took Orders and 
appears to have practiced to some extent afterwards, 
and on at least one occasion he was called in at Mount 
Vernon and prescribed for the relief of Mrs. Washing- 
ton. He was a large landowner and his deeds, in which 
he is described as 'Doctor of Physic and Clerk of Truro 
Parish,' are of frequent occurrence in the land records 
of the County. In his will, probated August 19, 1765, 
he left 3000 acres of land in Fairfax, Prince William 
and Loudoun Counties to his wife. He also mentioned 
certain relatives in Ireland and advised his wife to re- 


turn to that country, from which it is supposed that he 
was an Irishman." 

Dennis McCarty's will, dated March 18, 1742, was pro- 
bated in Prince William County on January 20, 1743, 
He named his brother, Daniel, John Miner and his son, 
Daniel, his executors. He died in 1744. The second 
son of Captain Daniel was Colonel Daniel McCarty who 
married Penelope Higgins. He lived for a time in Cople 
Parish, Westmoreland County, in the immediate vicinity 
of the birthplace and residence of Augustine and George 
Washington, until he established his residence at Cedar 
Grove, and all three families sometimes attended Pope's 
Creek Church in Washington Township and were on 
terms of intimate friendship for many years. Colonel 
McCarty was the lawyer before referred to and his name 
appears in the Journals of the House of Burgesses be- 
tween 1727 and 1736 as one of the representatives of 
Westmoreland County. In the election of 1734 his oppo- 
nent contested the seat, and the "Petition of William 
Aj^lett complaining of an undue Election and Return 
of Mr. Daniel McCarty to serve as a Burgess for the 
County of Westmoreland," was read in the House on 
September 4, 1734, but two weeks later the House re- 
solved: "that Mr. Daniel McCarty is hereby elected and 
returned a Burgess to serve in this present General 
Assembly for the County of Westmoreland." His name 
is mentioned frequently in the transactions of the leg- 
islature as showing that he was a very active member 
and during the session of 1735 he was the "father" 
of several bills. 

Colonel McCarty was made Collector of Potomac in 
1733 and his name appears in the Council Journals on 
November 7, 1738, as receiving a commission as a Justice 
of Westmoreland County, and in 1743 he was "Director 

46 THE McCarthys 

of Leedstown in King George County." He took his 
seat for the last time as a representative in the General 
Assembly on August 15, 1736, and was reelected in 1742, 
but during the interval between the prorogation of the 
Assembly in that year and its summons to reconvene 
in September, 1744, Colonel McCarty died and George 
Lee was recorded as "seated in place of Daniel McCarty, 
deceased." ^ In his will, dated May 16, 1743, he named 
as legatees his brothers, Dennis and Billington, and as 
executors he named his *' well-beloved friends. Colonel 
Presley Thornton, Joseph Morton, Augustine "Washing- 
ton and Lawrence Butler, Gents." This Lawrence 
Butler was a brother of Anne Butler, the first wife of 
Augustine Washington whom he married in the year 
1715. She died in 1728. The Butlers were descended 
from the Butlers of Kilkenny, one of the most eminent 
of the Anglo-Norman families of Ireland.® Colonel Mc- 
Carty and Augustine Washington, father of the illus- 
trious First President of the United States, passed away 
in the year 1743 within a few months of each other. 
In his will Augustine Washington described himself as 
"of Washington Parish, Westmoreland County," and as 
an evidence of the esteem in which he held his "good 
friend" Daniel McCarty, he appointed him one of the 
executors of his estate. The closing paragraph of the 
will of Augustine Washington ^ reads as follows : 

5 Journals of the House of Burgesses. See also The Colonial Virginia 
Register, compiled by William G. and Mary N. Stanard, pp. 107 and 117; 
Albany, N. Y., 1902. 

6 Colonel Richard Butler, commander of the Ninth regiment of the Penn- 
sylvania Line, and his four brothers, all Revolutionary officers, were of 
this family. Four of the brothers were born in Ireland and the youngest 
in Pennsylvania. 

7 A complete copy of the will and of the record pertaining to it may 
be seen in Waters' OenealogiccU Gleanings (Vol. I, p. 536), as well 
as in WUli of Oeorge Washington and his Immediate Ancettors, edited 
by Worthington Chauncey Ford; Brooklyn, N. Y., 18»1. 


"Lastly, I constitute and appoint my son, Lawrence Wash- 
ington, and my good Friends, Daniel McCarty and Nathaniel 
Chapman, Gents., Executors of this my Last Will and Testa- 
ment. In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand & 
Seal the Eleventh day of April, 1743. 

Angus Washington." 

These two wills, made within a period of little more 
than a month, furnish additional evidence of the mutual 
interest and affection which existed between these fam- 
ilies and it may be remarked in passing that if Daniel 
McCarty had not borne such an ancient Irish name, it 
is probable that readers of American history would 
have been made acquainted with some of the details 
of the career of the "well-beloved friend" of the im- 
mortal ''Father of his Country"! Another circum- 
stance of no little interest is, the fact that toward the 
close of Augustine Washington's life a question arose 
between him and his brother, John, concerning the bound- 
ary between the estates bequeathed them by their father 
in Westmoreland County. The brothers agreed to sub- 
mit the matter to Daniel McCarty and Richard Bernard, 
entering into bonds of £1000 each to abide by the de- 
cision of the referees, and this decision, duly signed and 
sealed by the brothers, was admitted to record in West- 
moreland County on April 12, 1743, the very day on 
which Augustine Washington died at his home near 

Thaddeus, youngest son of Captain Daniel McCarty, 
died on February 7, 1731, and although only nineteen 
years of age he was possessed of a considerable estate. 
The inventory filed in Richmond County under date of 
May 3, 1732, consisted of a great variety of personal 

8 Barons of the Patomack and the Rappahannock, by Moncure D. Con- 
way, p. 72; New York, 189?. 

48 THE McCarthys 

property in wliicli were included nine negro slaves and 
"one white servant man," and there is one curiosity 
about it, namely, that unlike nearly all other known 
inventories of the time, it fixed the value of a white 
servant at £10. 

Billington McCarty, third son of Captain Daniel, mar- 
ried Ann Barber at Farnham Parish church on June 
16, 1732, and had four sons, Daniel, born October 22, 
1733 ; Billington, bom October 3, 1736 ; Thaddeus, born 
April 1, 1739, and Charles, bom August 3, 1741. The 
date of his death is unknown, but his will is on record 
at the office of the County Clerk for Richmond County 
at Warsaw, Va., as of July 1, 1745. It mentions his 
wife and children, but names only his son, Billington, 
among the legatees. The latter married Elizabeth 
Downman in October, 1756, and according to the rec- 
ords had issue: Daniel, born August 24, 1757; Billing- 
ton, March 18, 1759 ; Thaddeus, September 1, 1763, and 
Elizabeth, born November 30, 1768. He died in April, 
1771, and his will which was recorded in Richmond 
County on May 6 of that year shows that he was the 
father of three other children, namely Dennis, William 
and Nancy. He named his wife, Elizabeth, and his 
brothers, Thaddeus and Charles, joint executors of his 
estate and he divided his property into fourteen equal 
parts which he bequeathed to his wife and children. One 
of his sons. Colonel William McCarty, was a member 
of the Virginia Assembly; his son, Dennis, married 
Elizabeth Woodbridge Yerby and his daughter, Eliza- 
beth, married into the Downman family. Billington 's 
brother, Charles, was the Charles who represented Rich- 
mond County in the Revolutionary Convention of Vir- 
ginia in 1776. There is a record of his will, dated No- 
vember 11, 1784, at Warsaw, showing that he divided 


his estate among his wife, Winney, sons Bartholomew 
and Charles Travers, and daughters Fannie, Winney 
and Bettie Ann. Charles Travers McCarty married 
Apphia Fauntleroy of the famous Virginia family of that 

The issue of Dennis and Elizabeth McCarty were : Wil- 
liam Downman, George Yerby, Albert G., and Juliet 
Ann McCarty. William Downman McCarty was a Cap- 
tain of the United States Navy in the War of 1812 and 
was one of the gallant men who served on board the 
Constitution in her conflict with the English warship, 
Ouerriere, on August 19, 1812. For his gallantry dur- 
ing that engagement, the United States and the State 
of Virginia each presented him with a gold-mounted 
sword, since in the possession of his grandson, Benjamin 
Franklin McCarty, of Lancaster County. Captain Mc- 
Carty married Frances Ravenscroft Ball, great grand- 
daughter of Joseph Ball, already referred to as George 
Washington 's grandfather. They left two sons. Captain 
James Ball and Ovid Downman, and four daughters, 
Cordelia Ball, Juliet, Virginia and Lavinia McCarty. 
Captain James Ball McCarty married Lavinia Carter, 
great-granddaughter of King Carter of Lancaster 
County; Ovid Downman McCarty married Martha Hill, 
daughter of Colonel William Hill of Richmond; Cor- 
delia Ball McCarty married (1st) Bartholomew Carter 
Chinn, and (2nd) Oscar Yerby; Juliet McCarty married 
Barton Ball of Lancaster County; Virginia McCarty 
married William Beale McCarty of Woodford, Va., and 
Lavinia McCarty married Littleton D. Mitchell of Lan- 
caster County, Va. 

Anna Barbara McCarty, eldest daughter of Captain 
Daniel, married Major John Fitzhugh, son of William 
Fitzhugh, a noted man of Marmion, Stafford County, 

50 THE McCarthys 

in 1719. They had three sons, Daniel MeCarty, John 
and William, and four daughters, Sarah, Elizabeth, Bar- 
bara and Rosamond. Lettice McCarty married George 
Turberville and Sarah McCarty married Thomas Beale 
at Farnham Parish church on April 27, 1728, but of 
Winnifred, the other daughter of Captain Daniel, I am 
unable to find any record and it is probable she died 
young. A further illustration of the difficulties of 
identifying the numerous descendants of the original 
MacCarthys in Virginia is furnished to us by the geneal- 
ogy of the Fitzhugh family. One of the sons of John 
Fitzhugh and his wife, Anna Barbara McCarty, born 
June 28, 1733, was named Daniel McCarty Fitzhugh. 
William Fitzhugh, brother of John, married Ursula 
Beverley and one of their sons, born March 15, 1758, 
was also named Daniel McCarty Fitzhugh. John Fitz- 
hugh, son of the first named John, married Alice Thorn- 
ton and they had a son, born May 9, 1763, whom they 
named Daniel McCarty Fitzhugh. All three Daniels 
lived in Stafford County, and since their names are 
mentioned in the records, in several instances about the 
same period, and all three were known to their intimates 
as "McCarty," it will be seen what a perfect puzzle 
it becomes to determine "which is which"! 

Daniel, the eldest son of Major Dennis and Sarah 
(Ball) McCarty, is referred to frequently in Virginia 
records as "Colonel Daniel McCarty" and, next to his 
grandfather, the Speaker, he seems to have been the 
best-known member of the family and tradition speaks 
of him as one of the notably representative Virginians 
of his time. One of his descendants informs me that 
"at one time he went to England and was received at 
the Court of St. James by his proper title, Earl of 
Desmond." As there is no mention of this incident in 


the colonial records of Virginia, it is apparent that his 
visit to London was not in an official capacity, and since 
he was interested largely in the cultivation and ex- 
portation of tobacco, it is probable that his journey was 
in connection with this business. He inherited portion 
of his father's estate in Fairfax and Stafford counties 
and his home plantation and dwelling was known as 
"Mount Airy." In June, 1748, he married Sinah Ball, 
by whom he had Daniel, Sarah, Mary, Sinah and Anne, 
and it is said that these four girls attracted much atten- 
tion among the gallant young men of Virginia for their 
captivating manners, cleverness and beauty. Sarah mar- 
ried Colonel Richard Chichester ; Mary died unmarried ; 
Sinah became the wife of Richard Waggoner and Anne 
married a McClanahan, who doubtless was a descendant 
of the McClanahan who came to Virginia with the 
Irish colonists who founded the town of Kinsale about 
the year 1662. 

Besides the property he had inherited from his father, 
Daniel McCarty (3rd) owned lands in Nomini, pur- 
chased from Major John Thornton which by his will, 
dated January 17, 1783, he bequeathed to his son, Daniel 
(4th) and his daughter, Elizabeth, who, on January 10, 
1788, became the wife of Burwell Bassett of New Kent 
County, a member of Congress for many years. The 
name of Daniel McCarty (3rd) appears in lists of stu- 
dents at William and Mary College in 1756 and in 1767 
he succeeded to the position held by his father. Collector 
of Lower Potomac. His son, Daniel (4th), who lived 
at Pope's Creek, married Margaret Robinson in 1795 
and died in 1801, and in the next year his widow mar- 
ried Dr. Richard Stuart of Cedar Grove. As already 
stated, the Washington and McCarty families wor- 
shipped at old Pohick church in Truro Parish and Bishop 

52 THE McCarthys 

Meade says that the pew, with a brass plate bearing 
the name, "Colonel Daniel McCarty," which for many 
years was occupied by the McCarty family, and which 
was immediately behind that of the Washingtons' on 
the opposite side of the aisle, was still preserved at the 
time he was preparing his history of the Protestant 
Episcopal Church in Virginia. Evidently, the location 
of a family pew was regarded as a matter of some im- 
portance in those days, and Bishop Meade quotes an 
interesting document illustrating this which he found 
among the records of old Pohick church. It is a deed 
dated February 24, 1774, conveying to "Daniel McCarty 
of Truro Parish, Fairfax County, Gentleman," and his 
heirs the perpetual ownership of pew number 14 which 
he had purchased on November 20, 1772, and its position 
in the church is as carefully and accurately described 
as if it were a tract of land that was being conveyed, 
rather than the right to the occupancy of a pew by Mc- 
Carty and his family. The consideration was the sum 
of £15, 10s., and George Washington was one of the 
vestrymen who executed the deed and John Barry was 
one of the witnesses.^ 

The Vestry Book of Truro Parish is a rich storehouse 
of historic names and among its vestrymen for twenty- 
two years was George Washington, having been chosen 
for the first time on October 25, 1762, and "qualified 
at a Court held for Fairfax County on February 15, 
1763. "10 Colonel Daniel McCarty was a vestr;yTnan of 
the Parish for thirty-six years, having been elected first 
in 1748 and serving continuously until 1784, and both 
names appear frequently in the records of the church. 
His election and that of his fellow-vestrymen in 1748 

9 Old Churches and Families of Virginia; Vol. II, p. 484. 

10 Fairfax County Records. 


was thus referred to by the famous William Fairfax in 
a letter dated August 15, 1749, to Lawrence Washing- 
ton, then in England : ^^ " Our Principal Occurrence in 
this County Since your Departure has been the Election 
of our Vestry, a copy of which is enclosed." The en- 
closure was a list of the successful and defeated candi- 
dates in the handwriting of George Washington, and 
among the names of the twelve vestrymen elected was 
that of Daniel McCarty. Moncure D. Conway, in com- 
menting on the individuals included in Washington's 
list, says: "The McCartys and Bronaughs were con- 
nected with the Mason family and were men of great 
influence. " ^^ It might appear as if Colonel McCarty 
was a builder and contractor, since the Vestry Book 
shows that at a meeting held on February 19, 1749, it 
was voted to erect an addition to the church, and an 
entry in the record of that date reads : ' ' Captain Daniel 
McCarty undertakes this work for 5500 pounds of to- 
bacco, he also having the material in the old Vestry 
House to make what use of he can in building the new. ' ' 
The parish meetings were supposed to be held in the 
church edifice, but the records show that they were held 
occasionally at the home of one or other of the vestrymen 
and that they lasted sometimes for two or three days. 
Doubtless, these occasions were largely turned into social 
gatherings, since their attendance often involved a ride 
on horseback for a considerable distance, depending at 
whose house the meeting was held, and we may depend 
upon it that much was discussed at these meetings other 
than the mere local business of the parish. The vestry- 
men and wardens of those days were important people 
and only men of prominence in County affairs were 

11 Quoted in Barons of the Patomaek and the Rappahannock, by 
Moncure D. Conway, pp. 264-266; New York, 1892. 

12 Ibid., p. 267. 

54 THE McCarthys 

chosen for such positions, since they were not only offi- 
cials of the parish but also of the State, and one of the 
functions of government devolving on the vestrymen and 
wardens was the levying of taxes for the support of 
the poor and the appointment every fourth year of 
commissioners to view all boundary lines of land grants 
and claims, to arbitrate disputes and to see that the 
shooting and range laws were complied with. The meet- 
ing of the Vestry for Truro Parish held in November, 
1765, lasted three days and was held at the home of 
Daniel McCarty, and the record shows that there were 
present on that occasion ''Mr Edw Payne, CoP Geo 
Washington, Capt Posey, Capt Daniel McCarty, Colo 
Geo William Fairfax, Mr. Thomas Ford and Mr, Alex 

The Vestry Book attests the regularity with which 
Washington attended the meetings and the interest he 
took in the affairs of the parish. There were two 
churches in Truro Parish, Pohick and Old Falls church, 
the latter called after the falls of the Potomac. Wash- 
ington and McCarty were also vestrymen of Old Falls 
church, as is seen from an entry in the record dated 
March 28, 1763, on which date both were present at a 
meeting in the capacity of vestrymen. At a meeting 
of the Vestry held on February 3, 1766, relating to a 
new church building, it was "Ordered that Colonel 
George Washington, Captain Daniel McCarty, Colonel 
George William Fairfax, Mr, Alexander Henderson 
and Mr. Thomas Ford or any three of them do view 
and admire the said building from time to time as shall 
be requisite. ' ' Washington continued an active and un- 
tiring member of the Vestry of Truro Parish until the 
outbreak of the Revolution. Among his original papers 
at the Library of Congress I find a letter to him from 


Daniel McCarty dated February 22, 1784. It is an 
unusually fine specimen of penmanship for the time and 
its purpose was to notify Washington that "Tomorrow 
is appointed for us to have a Vestry ; the place of meet- 
ing is to be at William Lindsay's in Colchester by 11 
o'clock; it was attempted five or six times last fall, but 
you and Mr. Henderson's both being out of the country 
we never could get a sufficient Number of Gentlemen to 
meet to make a Vestry, by which means the poor suffers 
very much and some of them must inevitably perish 
without they can have some assistance. I must therefore 
beg your attendance. Mrs. McCarty and family join 
me in our best respects to you and your worthy Lady 
and I am with the greatest esteem 

D' Sir your Most 0^' 
and very humble serv* 

Daniel McCarty." 

But, Washington at this time had decided to retire 
and he replied to the above letter on February 23rd. 
tendering his resignation, and on that date the follow- 
ing entry was made in the parish book: ''John Gib- 
son, Gent, is elected a Vestryman of this Parish in the 
room of His Excellency General Washington, who has 
signified his resignation in a letter to Daniel McCarty, 
Gent." At the same meeting Daniel McCarty himself 
tendered his resignation and Lund Washington was 
elected in his place. He died at his home at Cedar 
Grove, Fairfax County, in 1791, His only son, Daniel 
McCarty, Junior, was elected a Vestryman of the Parish 
on December 8, 1779. 

Thaddeus, second son of Major Dennis and Sarah 
(Ball) McCarty, was bom on April 1, 1739, and the 
records of Lancaster County show that on May 19, 1758, 

56 THE McCarthys 

he received a license to marry Ann Chinn, daughter 
of Rawleigh Chinn of an old Virginia family, and on 
October 8, 1773, both are on record as disposing of lands 
in Loudoun County which Ann (Chinn) McCarty had 
inherited from her father. He is referred to in Virginia 
records as Colonel Thaddeus. According to Hayden, 
he was a Vestryman of St. Mary's Parish, Lancaster 
County, from 1761 to 1776, Church Warden from 1771 
to 1776, Clerk of the County from 1778 to 1781 and was 
one of the Lancaster County Revolutionary Committee 
of Correspondence chosen on February 6, 1775. He 
fought in the Revolutionary war. He had one son whom 
he named Thaddeus, born in Loudoun County in 1760. 
Thaddeus, Jr., had seven children, each of whom lived 
on a separate estate; all married and brought up fam- 
ilies and their descendants are now scattered through 
Kansas, Texas, Virginia and Mississippi. One of his 
sons, George Washington McCarty, owned Newington, 
a large estate with a fine stone mansion, overlooking 
the Little River near Middleburg, in Loudoun County, 
near the county seat of James Monroe, President of 
the United States, and when Lafayette and John Quincy 
Adams went to Leesburg on August 9, 1825, on a visit 
to President Monroe, they were entertained by the Mc- 
Carty family at their fine home. George Washington 
McCarty was a wealthy farmer, owning many slaves. 
His son, William Thaddeus, married Hannah Fox, daugh- 
ter of Captain John Fox of Prince William County, 
descended from Charles James Fox, the English states- 
man. One of his grandsons was Captain William Thad- 
deus McCarty, who, when a student at the University 
of Virginia at the outbreak of the Civil War, organized 
the celebrated company known as the "University Vol- 
unteers," which became part of General Henry A. 


Wise's Brigade. Captain McCarty commanded a Con- 
federate artillery company at the battle of Gettysburg, 
and two of the sons of Stephen Washington McCarty 
&.lso served as officers of the Confederate army and one 
of them was killed at the first battle of Manassas. 

Ann, daughter of Major Dennis and Sarah (Ball) 
McCarty, married William Ramsay of Alexandria, Va,, 
and had two sons, Dennis and William McCarty Ram- 
say. Dennis was a Captain and William a Surgeon 
in the Revolutionary army. Dennis Ramsay married 
Jane Allen Taylor, daughter of a merchant of Belfast, 
Ireland, and was Mayor of Alexandria in 1793, and 
"it was he who prepared the stirring address to Wash- 
ington on April 16, 1789, on behalf of the people of 
Alexandria. ' ' ^^ Sarah, daughter of Dennis and Sarah 
McCarty, married George Johnson, of Alexandria, one 
of the most eminent lawyers of his day in Virginia, mem- 
ber of the House of Burgesses from 1758 to 1766, author 
of the Stamp Act Resolutions which Patrick Henry 
offered to the House and which Johnson seconded in a 
powerful speech on May 30, 1765. He was also chosen 
one of the Council of Alexandria on July 18, 1752, to 
succeed Lawrence Washington. Their son, George, was 
Lieutenant-Colonel of the Continental army, Aide-de- 
Camp to Washington and his confidential military secre- 
tary from December, 1776, until his death at Morris- 
town, N. J., in June, 1777.^* 

Dennis, third son of Major Dennis and Sarah (Ball) 
McCarty, served as an officer in the colonial wars, and 
when Washington made his famous journey in the Fall 
of 1753 from Williamsburg to the shores of Lake Erie, 
as the envoy of the government of Virginia to the com- 

13 Hayden's Virginia Genealogies, p. 88. 
lilhid., p. 87. 

58 THE McCarthys 

mander of the French forces with a demand that the 
French desist from their inroads upon the settlements 
on the Ohio, his cousin, young Dennis McCarty, was 
one of the few personal friends who accompanied him. 
At the State Land Office I found a record of three deeds 
from Lord Fairfax, one dated December 15, 1740, con- 
veying to Dennis McCarty a tract of 1140 acres de- 
scribed as "on the branches of Little River and branches 
of Goose Creek, " ^^ in Prince William County, and two 
deeds dated December 16, 1740, one conveying to Dennis 
McCarty 1235 acres "upon Stallion Branch, being a 
branch of the Broad Run of the Potomaek," ^^ and the 
other to Thaddeus McCarty for 1220 acres "on the 
south side of Goose Creek in Prince William County." " 
From the fact that the grantee in the first two deeds 
is referred to therein as "Dennis McCarty, the Younger, 
son of Major Dennis McCarty of the County of Prince 
William," it is clear that he was the son of Dennis and 
Sarah (Ball) McCarty. Yet, he was only fifteen years 
old at the time these deeds were executed, and as to 
Thaddeus, the grantee of the 1220 acre tract, I am un- 
able to place him at all, since only three Thaddeus Mc- 
Cartys appear in the early birth records, one of whom 
died in 1731 and the other two were only one year 
old at the time the above-mentioned laud grant was 
made. This indicates that there were other McCartys 
in this section of Virginia besides those mentioned in 
this book. 

In 1755, after Braddock's defeat at Fort Duquesne, 
Colonel Dunbar of the British army became senior offi- 
cer in command of the colonial troops, but on Dunbar's 
removal from that post Colonel George Washington was 

15 Land Records; Book E, p. 230. 

16 Ibid., p. 232. 

17 Ibid., p. 231. 


appointed to his place, and the person whom "Washington 
despatched to Winchester to acquaint Colonel Fairfax 
with this news was his young Lieutenant, Dennis Mc- 
Carty. In the papers of Colonel George William Fair- 
fax there is a letter from him to Governor Dinwiddie, 
dated ''Winchester, September 4th. 1755," which begins 
thus: ''This instant Mr, Dennis McCartj^ came here 
and gave me the agreeable news of Colonel Dunbar's 
being ordered back and that my friend Colonel Wash- 
ington is to have command of the forces raised by this 
Colony, which undoubtedly is a great trust, but I dare 
aay he will discharge it with honour. "^^ 

In the "Dinwiddie Papers" we read some interesting 
references to Lieutenant, afterwards Captain, Dennis 
McCarty, who served under Washington in the border 
warfare in Virginia, and in these papers he is referred to 
as "a gallant frontiersman." In a letter from Washing- 
ton to Governor Dinwiddie, dated Alexandria, Janu- 
ary 13, 1756, relative to an expedition against the Shaw- 
nee Indians, Washington asked for approval for the 
appointment of Dennis McCarty to a vacancy as Lieu- 
tenant in his regiment. The Governor approved the 
appointment in a letter to Washington on January 23, 
1756 ; but, McCarty 's political opponents in the County 
having brought a charge against him of "endeavouring 
to persuade the Men in the Virginia Regiment to desert" 
in order that he (McCarty) "may have the Opp't'y 
of enlisting 'em," the Governor canceled his commis- 
sion in a letter to McCarty on December 10, 1756. There 
is a letter of the same date from the Governor to Wash- 
ington, referring to "the villiany of McCarty," which 
"is without precedent," and in a letter to Colonel Fair- 
is The Fairfaxes of England and America in the Seventeenth and 
Eighteenth Centuries, by Rev. Edward D. Neill; Albany, N. Y., 1868. 

60 THE McCarthys 

fax five days later the Governor said: ''Dennis Mc- 
Carty has behaved very basely in getting some of our 
forces to desert in order that he might enlist 'em, which 
occasioned my recalling the Com 's 'on I gave him to 
recruit the Royal Amn's. I can't with patience write 
him ; therefore as he writes me he has recruited 24 men I 
do not incline he should suffer in that service, and if 
you'll take the trouble to give him notice if he'll send 
'em down to this Place, on rec 't of 'em I '11 pay him any 
reasonable Acco't he may produce for enlisting and 
maintaining of 'em." Later, this political "tempest 
in a teapot" subsided, and on December 23, 1756, Gov- 
ernor Dinwiddie wrote McCarty, saying ' ' I shall be glad 
if you come here and desire you to march down with the 
recruits you have to join the others here." ^^ 

As already stated, a strong friendship existed between 
the Washington and McCarty families, and indeed it 
is clear that they maintained the most intimate social 
relations, since the McCartys were frequent and welcome 
visitors at the Washington home. The various letters 
passing between them, as well as the entries made by 
Washington in his Diary, fully attest that fact. At 
the Library of Congress I have examined the original 
Diary and the letters to Washington, and find in them 
many interesting references to the McCartys. Among 
the entries in the Diary the earliest appears under date 
of February 24, 1760, and reads thus: "Calld and 
dind at Cap*'' McCartys in my way home and left the 
Order of Court appointing him and others appraisers 
of Nations 's Estate (which I had sent my Boy down 
for) and at the same time got a promise of him to Prize 
& Inspect his Tob° at the Warehouse." On July 6, 
1768, Sinah and Sarah, daughters of Colonel Daniel 

19 The Dinwiddie Papers, published by the Virginia Historical Society. 


McCarty of Cedar Grove, paid a visit to Mount Vernon 
and this event was thus recorded by Washington in his 
Diary: "Rid to Muddy Hole where three white men 
were cradling & then to the Mill where we were getting 
in Wheat. Mr. Chichester with his wife,^^ Miss S. Mc- 
Carty and Dr. Rumney came." On July 16, 1768, we 
find Washington writing in his Diary: ''Went by 
Muddy Hole and Doeg Run to the Vestry of Pohick 
Church, stayed there till half after 3 oclock & only 4 
members coming returned by Captn McCartys & dined 
there." On July 6, 1769, Daniel McCarty 's daughters, 
Sarah and Nancy, visited Mount Vernon and on that 
date Washington wrote in his Diary: "Went into my 
Harvest field in the Neck, on my Return to Dinner found 
Mr. Chichester, his wife, and Nancy McCarty who stayd 
all Night," and the next day he wrote: "The above 
Company going away after Breakfast I went over into 
ye Neck and returned to Dinner. ' ' 

Washington's Diary at this period was kept irregu- 
larly and there are long lapses of time between the 
entries, and the next item relating to the McCartys is 
under date of June 9, 1772, when he wrote: "Went 
into the Neck in the forenoon, found Mr. Chichester 
and Wife, Miss Molly McCarty and Mr. Phil Pendle- 
ton here; the first went away." His next entry was 
made on October 16, 1772, and reads : ' ' Capt" McCarty, 
his wife and son, came after Dinn'^ & stay'd ye night," 
and the next day, "They went away after Breakfast." 
In the entry in the Diary for "Sunday, September 3, 
1786," Washington recorded that, in company with 
"Major Washington and Tobias Lear," he "went to 
Pohick Church & dined at CoP McCartys," and in the 
years 1785 and 1786 he recorded other social events in 

20 Mrs. Chichester was a daughter of Daniel McCarty. 

62 THE McCarthys 

which he participated with the McCartys and speaks of 
hunting and dining ''with Colonel Daniel McCarty of 
Pope's Creek." 

It appears also from Washington's papers that on 
three different occasions he employed people named Mc- 
Carthy, although none of these seem to have been con- 
nected with the old Virginia family. In 1771 he built a 
mill on his Mount Vernon estate and employed Cor- 
nelius McCarthy, a bricklayer and stone mason, on the 
work, and on August 20, 1771, he made this entry in 
his Diary: ''Con McCarty began to work on the Chim- 
ney of the Miller H° in the morning and Bond ab* 12 
oclock," and in August and September, 1771, his ac- 
counts show that he paid "Con McCarty" £9 2s. 6d. 
In 1786, one Thomas McCarthy was in Washington's 
employ as steward of his household, although it is evi- 
dent that his services were not very satisfactory. An 
entry in the Diary under date of August 12, 1786, reads 
as follows: "Thomas McCarty left this yesterday, it 
being found that he was unfit for a House hold Steward. 
Richard Burnett took his place on the wages of Thirty 
pounds p' ann." In the Washington papers there is 
also a letter to him dated "City of Washington, April 
26, 1797," from one Patrick McCarthy in connection 
with a contract which Washington had given him for 
a building or alterations of some kind, and this letter is 
endorsed in Washington's handwriting: "From Mr. 
Patrick McCarthy, Stonecutter, April 26, 1797." An- 
other letter in the Washington papers is dated "West 
Point, 14 August, 1780," and is from one Daniel Carthy 
to Major Raines in relation to the employment of arti- 
ficers at Newburgh and New Windsor, N. Y., and re- 
questing Major Raines "to inform the General (Wash- 
ington) I am just going to push off to Fishkill after the 


paper," etc. . . . and "in the meantime pray assure 
the General the Return of Artificers shall be sent to- 
morrow by 10 o'clock." While this letter is si^ed 
"Carthy," it is endorsed by Richard Varick, Aide-de- 
Camp to General Benedict Arnold, "From McCarthy, 
August 14, 1780." 

That portion of his estate in Stafford County which 
Daniel, the Speaker, bequeathed to his son, Dennis, hav- 
ing been subject to entail, the latter 's descendants re- 
garded it as a hardship that they were precluded by the 
terms of the will from disposing of it as they chose. This 
matter was the subject of discussion between Daniel Mc- 
Carty and George Washington, and among the Wash- 
ington papers at the Library^ of Congress there is a letter 
from Daniel McCarty dated December 6, 1769, addressed 
to "George Washington Esq. at Williamsburg," which 
reads as follows: 

"I send you by Mr. Peiree Bayly the Deeds made by me and 
my wife to Mr. Chichester and Likewise them from him and 
his wife to me, as also my Grandfather's will, Wherein you 
will find in the 3rd. Page how he gave the Land. Fairfax 
County was then Stafford, and by looking over the Will you 
may see some hardships which my father was laid under more 
than either of my Brothers. My wife's father's will I have 
not, neither is it in my Power to get it at this time, it being 
on the Records of Lancaster, but you may see by the Deeds 
made to Mr. Chichester in what manner it was Given which 
I hope will be sufficient. We have at last had a Vestry to 
lay the Parish Levy which is Sixty three per Pole 34900 being 
Levy'd Towards Paying for the Church and by those very 
Gentlemen who was so much against it formerly. Mrs. Posey 
& old Mrs. Johnston are both dead within two or three Days 
of each other. You will remember that I informed you that 
I have near Six thousand acres of Land more which is all 
intailed, being in the County of Loudoun, and I must beg 
your care of the Papers now sent. Mv Wife joyns me in 
our Compliments to your Self, Mrs. Washington and Miss 

64 THE McCarthys 

Patey, hopeing to see you all Return in Good Health, And 
I Remain with great esteem 

D'' S'" y"" most obet H*''^ Servt 

Daniel MeCarty." 

It is evident that upon Washington's return from 
"Williamsburg the question was again discussed, and that 
it was decided that McCarty should seek relief from the 
legislature by securing the passage of an act canceling 
the entail, which process was known as "docking the 
entail." The Journals of the House of Burgesses under 
date of December 12, 1769, contain this entry: 

"A Petition of Daniel McCarty was presented to the House, 
and read, setting forth that the Petitioner is seized in Fee 
Tail under the Will of Daniel McCarty his Grandfather, of 
2000 Acres of Land in the Parish of Truro, and County of 
Fairfax, and is seized in Fee Simple of 1000 Aci'es of Land 
in the County of Fauquier, purchased of Richard Cliichester 
and Sarah his Wife, and that it will be to the advantage of 
the Petr and those claiming in Remainder if the Intail of the 
said 2000 Acres of Land in Fairfax was docked and the said 
1000 Acres of Land in Fauquier, with nine valuable Slaves, 
settled in Lieu thereof, and therefore praying that an Act 
may pass for that Purpose." 

Thereupon, it was "Ordered that leave be given to 
bring in a Bill pursuant to the prayer of the said Peti- 
tion," and it is with considerable interest that we note 
that the two persons who were "ordered" by the House 
"to prepare and bring in the same" were George Wash- 
ington and Richard Henry Lee.^^ On the following day 
there is an entry in the Journals, reading: "George 
Washington, member of the House from Fairfax County, 
presented a Bill to dock the Intail of certain Lands 
whereof Daniel McCarty is seized and for settling other 

21 This was the celebrated Revolutionary officer, "Light Horse Harry 
Lee," afterwards Governor of Virginia. 


Lands and Slaves to the same Uses," and the bill was 
passed by the House on December 19, 1769. 

One of the nearest and most intimate friends of the 
MeCartys was George Mason of Gunston Hall in Fair- 
fax County. Mason is an historic figure in the political 
movements of his day and is described as "one of the 
greatest men of a great period." He was the author 
of the "Declaration of Rights" and the Constitution of 
Virginia, and is familiarly known as "The Father of 
States' Rights." Colonel Daniel McCarty and George 
Mason were keen sportsmen, and Dogue's Neck, part of 
the Mason estate, was long famous for its native deer 
and wild fowl, and the neighboring gentry often were 
guests at the hospitable mansion of the Masons and in 
hunting parties and other social events of the time. 
In 1778, Daniel, son of Daniel and Sinah (Ball) Mc- 
Carty, married Sarah, daughter of George Mason, and 
William T. Mason, son of George, married Sarah Mc- 
Carty. Daniel, Jr., was also known as "Colonel," and 
after their marriage the young couple settled at Cedar 
Grove. Kate Mason Rowland, in her Life of George 
Mason, thus refers to Cedar Grove: "The McCarty 
place has gone out of the family of its original owners. 
It is beautifully situated on Pohick Creek. Its lovely 
water views from its commanding position on high 
ground almost entirely surrounded by the Creek, are its 
chief attraction now, but in former days, with its lawns, 
its orchards and its shrubberies, it must have made a 
delightful residence. The family burial ground at Cedar 
Grove is perhaps a half mile from the house in a dense 
grove of oaks and poplars. Bending back the thick 
branches in this Druid-like solitude and stooping over 
fallen trees, one finds three graves with their gray moss- 
covered stones, marking the spots where rest Dennis Mc- 

66 THE McCarthys 

Carty and his grandson, Daniel McCarty, with the wife 
of the latter, who was the daughter of George Mason, 
Colonel Daniel McCarty, the elder, the friend and con- 
temporary of George Mason, was buried at Mount Airy, 
another family seat of the McCartys."^^ 

Colonel McCarty was a large landed proprietor and 
was also interested in the exportation of tobacco. In 
the Virginia Magazine of History and Biography ^^ there 
is a list of "Slave Owners in Westmoreland County in 
1782," numbering 410 in all, who owned 4536 slaves, 
and in this list Daniel McCarty is shown to have been 
the owner of 112 slaves and only one other man in the 
County, Robert Carter, had a greater number. Colonel 
McCarty commanded a Virginia regiment in the Revolu- 
tion and he is named among the leaders of the patriot 
cause in Virginia several years before the outbreak of 
the war. In referring to the great opposition through- 
out the country caused by the passage of the Stamp Act 
(1765), the historian Green says: "the Assembly of Vir- 
ginia was the first to formally deny the right of the 
British Parliament to meddle with internal taxation and 
to demand the repeal of the Act." "Thus," wrote 
Bancroft, "Virginia rang the alarm bell for the Con- 
tinent," and in this historic event we find Daniel Mc- 
Carty taking an active part. When the news of the 
passage of the Stamp Act reached the Colony an asso- 
ciation of patriots was formed to resist the imposition 
of the tax, and on the 24th of February, 1766, one 
hundred and fifteen of the leading men of Westmoreland 
County met at Leedstown and formed "The Association 
of Westmoreland." 

At this meeting Richard Henry Lee drew up resolu- 

22 Life of George Mason; Vol. I, p. Ill; New York, 1892. 

23 Vol. X, pp. 229-235. 


tions which were signed by all present. They asserted 
in bold language the rights essential to Civil Liberty 
which were subsequently maintained by the Revolution ; 
they denounced the Stamp Act and the British Par- 
liament and pledged the members of the Association to 
resist its enforcement with their lives and fortunes. 
To this historic document Daniel McCarty signed his 
name, and among others famous in Virginia history who 
also signed it were four of the Washingtons and six of 
the Lees. It is one of the most stirring and interest- 
ing documents extant relating to the history of the 
Colony and is now in the possession of the Virginia 
Historical Society, and a copy of it is inscribed on a 
tablet at Montross, Va., not far from the residence of 
Daniel, the Speaker. 2* When the Committee of Safety 
for Westmoreland County met on the 22nd of June, 

1774, Daniel McCarty was also present and at a meet- 
ing held at Westmoreland Court House on January 31, 

1775, he was chosen one of thirty-five delegates from 
that County to the Convention of the Colony of Vir- 
ginia at Williamsburg. 

Another McCarty, Charles of Richmond County, Cap- 
tain of Militia in the Revolutionary War, was also elected 
a representative of his district at the Convention in 
May, 1776. This meeting has been described as ''the 
fifth and most important of all the Revolutionary Con- 
ventions of Virginia, ' ' "^ and it is the fact that Williams- 
burg was the scene of the important proceedings that 
were nurtured into maturity at this Convention, that 
gave to that City the title of "The Cradle of the Revo- 
lution." It was a considerable distinction to be a dele- 
gate at this Convention, for the newspapers of the time 

24 A full copy of the address and resolutions of the Virginia patriots may 
be seen in the Journals of the House of Burgesses, Vol. for 1761 to 1765. 

25 WUliam and Mary College Quarterly; Vol. XVI, p. 52. 

68 THE McCarthys 

show there was no small competition for seats in its coun- 

In 1797 we find Colonel Daniel McCarty in negotia- 
tion with President Washington in connection with a 
proposed transfer of lands in Loudoun County in ex- 
change for lands owned by "Washington in what is now 
West Virginia. In the Washington papers at the Li- 
brary of Congress there are several original letters from 
Daniel McCarty to George Washington, and copies of 
the replies. The proposition seems to have originated 
verbally with McCarty, who argued that having made 
considerable improvements in his lands and much of it 
was under cultivation, while that owned by Washington 
was yet undeveloped, he expected an equitable exchange. 
In a long letter to Washington dated "Cedar Grove, 
November 2, 1797," McCarty said that "this exchange 
has long been the object of my wishes and has often been 
revolved in my mind, from which serious contemplations 
those suggestions made you the other day resulted; my 
hope was to obtain three acres for one." To this Wash- 
ington replied in a letter dated "Mount Vernon, No- 
vember 3, 1797," offering as an equivalent "three tracts 
on the Kanahawa containing together 12,276 acres for 
your sugar lands entire," which he said "would have 
given you a boundary on the rivers of nearly 25 miles 
of the richest low ground in that country. ' ' Washing- 
ton further described these lands as ' ' not more than three 
miles from Mount Pleasant, a place which must, as soon 
as tranquillity is perfectly restored, be of considerable 
importance from its situation at the junction of two im- 
portant rivers running in different directions through so 
large and fertile a tract of country." 

The next letter on the subject is dated November 6, 
1797, from McCarty to Washington, declining to recede 


from his offer of ''one to three for the exchange," since 
he put a higher value on his lands than Washington 
was willing to admit, and the negotiations seem to have 
continued verbally throughout the year. In a letter 
from McCarty to Washington dated September 19, 1798, 
the former said: "having naturally deliberated on your 
late proposals for an exchange of Landed property, 
they do not appear such as are consistent with my in- 
terest to accept, as your Quantity on the Ohio is not an 
object to so large a family as mine and the exclusion 
of Slaves in the Northwestern Territory would render 
property of little value. The indisputability of title, the 
superior advantages of situation and soil, annexed to 
your Western Lands would induce in my mind a prefer- 
ence to any others in that part of the Country, but 
their rapid rise in value has determined me of late to 
turn my Views to Louisiana where I think the prospects 
of accumulating Property of every kind are more in- 
viting than in any part of the United States." With 
this letter, the negotiations closed. 

In an account of Washington's death, written by his 
Secretary, Tobias Lear, we learn that Colonel Daniel 
McCarty 's family were among those who were especially 
invited to attend the funeral by the widow, at the re- 
quest of Washington on his death bed. Tobias Lear 
had the distinction of being personally attendant at 
Washington's bedside during his last illness and of being 
in charge of the arrangements for the funeral, which 
was solemnized at Mount Vernon on December 18, 1799. 
He wrote at the time a detailed account of Washington's 
last hours, bearing every mark of care and authenticity,^** 
and under date of "Monday, December 16, 1799," he 

26 See Records of the Columbia Historical Society; Vol. VIII, p. 116, 
also Ford's edition of Washington's Writings; Vol. 14, pp. 245-257. 

70 THE McCarthys 

said: "Gave notice of the time fixed for the funeral 
to the following persons by Mrs. Washington's desire, 
viz. — Mr. Mason and family, Mr. Peake and family, Mr. 
Nickels and family, Mr. McCarty and family, Miss Mc- 
Carty, Mr. and Mrs. McClanahan, Lord Fairfax and 
family, Mr. Triplet and family, Mr. Anderson and fam- 
ily, Mr. R. West. I wrote also to the Revd. Mr. Davis 
to read the service."" The "Mr. McCarty" here re- 
ferred to was Colonel Daniel, who married Sarah, daugh- 
ter of George Mason; "Miss McCarty" was his sister, 
Mary, and "Mrs. McClanahan" was his sister, Anne, 
before referred to ; so that, at least three of the McCarty 
family were named among those invited to attend the 
funeral of the First President of the United States! 

27 Letters and Recollections of Oeorge Washington; p. 135. 



William Mason McCarty, Provisional Governor of Florida — The 
sensational duel between Colonel John Mason McCarty nd 
General Armistead T. Mason — A romantic story — The McCar- 
tys as sportsmen — Duel between Captain Page McCarty and 
John Mordecai — Many separate families of the name in Vir- 
ginia in colonial days — Mentioned in the Acts of the General 
Assembly — Major Dennis McCarty of Prince William County, 
a prominent man — The sad fate of Patrick McCarty — Colonel 
Edward McCarty of Hampshire County — The remarkable mili- 
tary records of Timothy McCarty and his descendants — 
Colonel Daniel McCarty, a patron of the turf. 

Two of Colonel Daniel McCarty 's sons, William Mason 
McCarty and John Mason McCarty, were noted men in 
Virginia. William M., who married a daughter of Gen- 
eral Armistead T. Mason, was a lawyer and from 1832 
to 1839 he was a member of the Virginia Senate until 
his appointment as Provisional Governor of Florida, 
and in 1841 he was elected to Congress from Loudoun 
County, Va. He and his brother, John, were educated 
at William and Mary College. Captain John Mason 
McCarty is perhaps best remembered in Virginia for 
his fatal duel with General Armistead T. Mason at 
Bladensburg, Md., on February 6, 1819, which has been 
a subject of discussion at Virginia firesides for a hun- 
dred years, and it is said that for a long time after the 
event the quarrel between Mason and McCarty which 
culminated in the duel was revived occasionally among 
their descendants or adherents. It is a story of tragedy 
and romance and still further tragedy, which seldom 


72 THE McCarthys 

has been surpassed in actual life, verifying the old say- 
ing, that "truth is stranger than fiction"! 

Mason and McCarty were cousins and prior to the 
events that estranged them were fast friends. During 
the War of 1812 General Mason introduced a bill in the 
United States Senate permitting Quakers who were 
drafted to contribute their share toward the support of 
the army by furnishing substitutes on payment of $500 
each. McCarty disagreed totally with this proposition 
and did not hesitate to convey his views to the author 
of the bill, but General Mason insisted on pressing the 
bill for action and the controversy was continued for 
some time between the two, and from this sprang a suc- 
cession of bitter quarrels over other matters which ended 
in a challenge from McCarty to fight. General Mason 
did not accept, being a Senator of the United States, 
but after his term had expired, while riding on a stage 
to Fredericksburg with General Andrew Jackson, the 
subject of the challenge came up, when Jackson told 
Mason that his refusal to accept was an injury to his 
standing and as he was no longer in office he should 
now challenge McCarty. Various stories concerning 
this sensational duel have appeared in southern maga- 
zines and newspapers from time to time, but the follow- 
ing account ^ written by a local historian at Bladens- 
burg, Md., in the main is more in accord with the tradi- 
tions of these families than any other version. 

Bladensburg, Md., July 27. — Bladensburg has been the scene 
of many noted duels in times past. So often, in fact, has her 
soil been drenched with the blood of the flower of our man- 
hood, that to this day the name of the old town savors of and 
recalls grewsome memories. But perhaps no duel ever fought 

1 Published in the Baltimore Sun of .July 28, 1907. Accounts of this 
famous duel may also be found in Sabine's Notes of Duellinf/, Truman's 
Field of Honor, and in Harper's Magazine for January, 1858. 


here caused more universal regret or widespread interest than 
that fought between Mason and MeCarty in February, 1819. 

Nearly one hundred years have passed since those cousins 
demanded satisfaction of each other under the requirements 
of the Code of Honor, and still the story is related by remi- 
niscent old folk and impressed upon us as one of Virginia's 
tragedies. Gen, Armistead T. Mason, United States Senator, 
and Capt. John M. McCarty, member of the House of Dele- 
gates of Virginia, were the combatants in the duel. Both were 
sons of prominent Virginia families. They were kinsmen, 
both being grandsons of the first George Mason, author of 
Bill of Rights and proprietor of "Gunston Hall," on the 
Potomac, in Fairfax county. 

In the political and social issues of their day they were men 
of note. General Mason was the uncle of James G. Mason, 
Confederate Minister to France, who was taken from an Eng- 
lish warship the first year of the Civil War. He was a much 
older man than McCarty, who claimed descent from the Kings 
of Munster, Ireland. 

The quarrel which had such an unhappy ending originated 
at an election in Leesburg, Loudoun county, Virginia, in May, 
1818. Captain McCarty had just returned from an election- 
eering tour. During his absence scurrilous reports with a 
tendency to blacken his reputation had been freely circulated. 
Damaging assertions appeared in the newspaper published in 
his town. The Genius of Liberty, edited by James H. Dulany, 
and under the immediate patronage of General Mason. That 
the latter gentleman was not altogether guiltless of conspiracy 
in these published defamations was firmly believed by Mc- 
Carty and his adherents. Certain it is he did say that young 
McCarty had perjured himself concerning his age, and that 
being a minor he had no vote and consequently was ineligible 
to office. Captain McCarty's rich Irish blood boiled with 
a righteous indignation and an unrighteous anger when he 
learned of these statements. 

"General Mason will not dare say such a thing to me," he 
declared, and going directly to the General's office he demanded 
either denial or a confirmation of the said statements. Gen- 
eral Mason declared he was not in a position to deny them, 
whereupon Captain McCarty struck him in the face, calling 
him a liar and a coward, and upon the spot challenged the 

74 THE McCarthys 

General to fight him. But the latter would not accept the 
challenge unless written in due form and brought to him by the 
proper parties. 

Captain McCarty then caused a card to be published and 
freely circulated throughout the county. This old sheet lies 
before the writer now. It is timewom and yellowed by age, 
but its very appearance is interesting and reminiscent, its 
black letters standing out on its yellowed pages in bold relief. 
One gazes on it with a sort of fascinated horror, for one knows 
it had a work to do and that it did it well. Here it is: 

"to the public! 

"During the period of my electioneering excursion through 
Loudoun county, and since the termination of my controversy 
with Gen. A. T. Mason, The Genius of Liberty, a paper under 
his immediate patronage, has been frequently crowded with 
the bitterest invectives against me; but they appeared in such 
a form that I could make no inquiries concerning them. A 
few days, however, after my election to the House of Dele- 
gates a piece appeared in the same paper signed 'Juriscola,' 
the author of which, from its general character of falsehood 
and scurrility, I demanded of the editor, and shall make no 
other apology for not chastising him than to inform the people 
of Loudoun that this suborned agent was William H, Handy ! ! ! 
Shortly after Mr. Handy was given up as the author of 
'Juriscola' I was infonued that Mr. Handy had some days 
before obtained a pair of dueling pistols from George M. 
Chichester, Esq. This intelligence was succeeded by some 
communications between Mr. Chichester and myself, and the 
negotiation resulted in a manner highly honorable to that 
gentleman; but while the negotiation was pending between 
us the annexed letter was addressed to Dr. Tebbs. 

"Leesburg, May 11, 1818." 

Copy of a letter addressed to Thomas F. Tebbs, by Gen. 
A. T. Mason: 

"'Sir: I understand you have been the bearer of a note 
from Mr. John McCarty to George Mason Chichester, de- 
manding of him an explanation of his conduct in lending my 
pistols to Mr. Handy. The note, as might be expected from 
the character of its author, was such as not to entitle it to 


the respect of an answer, and accordingly it has not received 
one. I will, however, inform you that Mr. Chichester had no 
agency in the business except to deliver the pistols at my 
written request to Mr. Mandley Rust. It is true that I did 
not know, or even suspect, that they were for Mr. Handy; 
but that is of no consequence, for if I had known all the 
circumstances I would have lent them to Mr. Handy. The 
principal object of this note is to inform you that I am re- 
sponsible for the loan of those pistols. I am apprised that 
Mr. John MeCarty, like a coward and a scoundrel as he is, 
has come from Alexandria on a bullying expedition. Not 
satisfied with the contempt and derision to which his recent 
conduct has exposed him, he seems determined to sink himself 
still further, if possible, into the depths of infamy. The prof- 
ligacy and pusillanimity of his character are so fully ex- 
emplified as to forbid me to expect anything honorable of him. 
But I would wish him to know by the perusal of this letter 
that I do not, in imitation of the example of Mr. Mercer, wish 
any of my friends to fight my battles for me, even if any 
of them could be ''instigated " to do it. And I repeat that 
I am responsible for the loan of my pistols of which he pre- 
tends to complain. 

" *I am, sir, your friend and humble servant, 

"Abmistead T. Mason.'" 

This correspondence brought Mason and McCarthy face 
to face, and though there remained a long interval, during 
which each indulged in all sorts of threats and billingsgate, 
a duel was plainly inevitable. It was not actually fought, 
however, until February, 1819, the modus operandi being a 
point of dispute in the meanwhile, McCarty suggesting that 
one of three ways be used: Clap hands and jump from the 
dome of the ca^^itol; sit on kegs of gunpowder over ignited 
fuses, causing simultaneous explosions; hand to hand fight 
with dirks. General Mason did not respond to any of these 
unusual means, it being finally arranged to fight with single- 
barrel shotguns at four paces. 

Mason fell dead without a struggle and MeCarty was se- 
riously wounded. Such a result was a great surprise. Gen- 
eral Mason was an acknowledged crack shot, while McCarty 
was an inexperienced youth. 

76 THE McCarthys 

Mason himself was so confident of his unerring aim he re- 
marked while taking their places that he would stand with 
his face in the direction he should run, so no time would be 
lost in turning around. Two bullet holes were found upon 
his body and foul play was suspected at first, but an ex- 
amination revealed that the bullet from McCarty's gun had 
struck squarely upon the lock of Mason's. It was split into 
halves, each half entering Mason's body and inflicting mortal 

Thus the curtain fell upon the last act of that bloody and 
unhallowed tragedy. 

Many fireside stories have been told about this duel, one to 
the effect that Captain McCarty while a fugitive from justice 
was filled with an unconquerable desire to look upon the face 
of his betrothed, and under cover of a dark night sought her 
home. When within sight of the house he found that some 
social function was in progress. He secreted himself in the 
dense shrubbery near by and watched with a hungry eye the 
arrival of the guests, among whom were many of his young 
friends and comrades. 

Sounds of merriment and joyous festivity reached his hiding 
spot. Sad memories were his. Not so long ago he had been 
a prominent figure in that crowd, his presence sought and 
enjoyed, for his rich Irish wit and genial, fun-loving disposi- 
tion made him ever a popular favorite and welcome com- 
panion ; and now what was his lot ? A cast-off, debarred from 
the associations of his best-loved friends, and even forgotten 
by the fair young girl, the idol of his dreams of love and 

"And must I leave forever this spot without one sight of 
her dear face?" he thought. "The risk is great, but I must 
see her." 

When the merriment was at its greatest he stole from his 
concealment and took his position close to an unshuttered 
window at the back of the house, a spot which he well knew 
would give him an unobstructed view of the interior of the 
parlor, and there, pressed close to the trunk of an old elm 
tree, so close that his slight figure could well have been taken 
for a part of the old tree's body, he saw the embodiment 
of his thoughts, the fair features and graceful form of his 
love, as she stood at the piano turning over some music. 


Selecting a piece, she placed it on the piano and took her 
seat at it. Running her fingers over the keys in a soft musical 
prelude, she presently lifted her voice in song, tremulous at 
first, but gathering strength after a bar or two. See the lonely 
watcher as he listens! Every nerve of sensation strained, 
every fiber of his being alert. Now he knows that he is not 
forgotten, he knows that the sad wistfulness on that fair 
young brow is through anxious thoughts of him, the hunted 
outcast, for is she not at this moment pouring out all the 
sadness and grief of that overburdened heart, in the words 
of that pathetic old love song of Thomas Moore's: 

Come rest in this bosom, my own stricken deer, 

Though the herd have fled from thee, thy home is still here; 

Here still is the smile that no cloud can o'ercast, 

And a heart and a hand all thine own to the last. 

Oh, what was love made for, if 'tis not the same 

Through joy and through torment, through glory and shame? 

I know not, I ask not, if guilt's in that heart, 

I but know that I love thee, whatever thou art. 

Thou hast called me thy "Angel" in moment of bliss, 
And thy Angel I'll be mid the horrors of this; 
Through th? furnace unshrinking, thy steps to pursue, 
And shield thee, and save thee, or perish there, too. 

As the last words of the old song floated out to him Mc- 
Carty, casting all fears of arrest aside, rushed from his hiding 
place into the room, and ere the astounded crowd could move, 
had the form of his betrothed in his embrace, and with an 
arm still encircling her, faced them as a hunted deer at bay. 

"You are all aware, gentlemen," he said, "that the law is 
on my head. I am subject to your arrest. Do with me as 
you will." 

So great was the sympathy of all for him that not a finger 
was raised against him. With one more look upon the loved 
face, one more close embrace, and a passionate kiss upon the 
pallid brow, he placed the almost fainting form upon a sofa 
and went once more out into the night! 

In the course of time he married this young lady who had 
remained so true to him through shadow as well as sunshine. 
Captain McCarty was familiarly known as "Jack" McCarty 

78 THE McCarthys 

by his friends and associates. He was an active figure in all 
circles. Full of humor, warm-hearted and generous, he num- 
bered his friends by the score. He was of strong personality, 
but his quick temper and impetuous outbursts won for him 
the sobriquet, "The Fire-eater." 

He was reported a particeps in a duel later in life, fought 
in the South, and it was his cousin,^ Page McCarty, who killed 
Mr. Mordecai in a duel at Richmond. To Captain McCarty, 
however, is due the amicable and honorable adjustment of 
the bloodless duel of Mr. Wise, of Virginia, and Edward 

McCarty had one son, to whom he was most tenderly at- 
tached. This young man was a graduate of the University of 
Virginia, and in all respects possessed an exemplary charac- 
ter. On one sad day, a young college friend, a classmate, 
visited the young McCarty for a hunt. The friend became 
very thirsty during the progress of the sport and asked Mc- 
Carty if he knew of any nearby spring where they could get 
a drink of water. McCarty replied that a little further on 
was a fine spring of ice-cold water, at the same time pointing 
out a tree in an adjoining field, a large oak, under which the 
spring gushed forth its cool waters. 

Arriving at the fence which divided the fields, the young 
man leaped it and soon quaffed away his burning thirst. Be- 
coming aware that young McCarty had not followed, but re- 
mained sitting on the fence, he inquired why he did not come 
and drink also. McCarty told him he did not dare place a 
foot on the soil upon which he (the friend) now stood, for it 
belonged to the kinsman whose blood the hand of his father 
had spilled. Thereupon his friend passed him a cup of water, 
but in the act, the lock of young MeCarty's gun caught on 
a fence-rail and an explosion resulted. The whole load en- 
tered under MeCarty's chin, passing out at the top of his 
head and causing instantaneous death. 

Captain McCarty, the father, was absent from his home 
at the time of this horrible disaster, on a business trip in New 
York city; and now comes the strange part of the incident. 
Captain McCarty could not be communicated with, having 
left no address behind him. The night following the day of 

2 Page McCarty was a nephew of John Mason McCarty. 


the accident to his son he had a dream. He dreamed his son 
was in some deep trouble; he could hear his voice full of 
poignant distress, calling him so plainly that he awoke and 
started from his couch. He didn't like the dream and pon- 
dered over it long ere slumber again visited him. 

Again he saw in a second dream his son lying dead before 
him in the exact spot he had met his death. Again the father 
awoke, and yet again he slept and dreamed the same dream. 
Whereupon he arose and prepared himself with all dispatch 
for his return home. Being the day of the stage-coach, he 
did not reach his home until the afternoon of the third day. 
When within sight of his home he saw a funeral cortege wind- 
ing through the yard gate. 

He followed. Needless for him to ask whose loved form 
rested in that black-draped casket! In his dreams he had 
seen it all, and when told how and where the boy of whom 
he was so proud, and whom he so devotedly loved, had met his 
sad end his chin sank upon his breast and as he entered 
his sorrow-stricken home he muttered, "Retribution!" 

One of the members of the family, Mrs. Sally Mc- 
Carty Pleasants of Menasha, Wisconsin, was the author 
of a book entitled Old Virginia Days and Ways.^ It 
is a delightful series of reminiscences of Virginia life 
before the Civil War and in it Mrs. Pleasants relates 
several interesting anecdotes of the McCartys. She was 
the daughter of Colonel John Mason McCarty and his 
wife, Ann Lucinda Lee, and was born in Loudoun County 
in 1836, and her childhood days were spent in Lees- 
burg, a historic town at the foot of the Blue Ridge moun- 
tains. She inherited from her father about 1200 acres 
of land in Loudoun County which she says "is all that 
is left to the family of a tract granted to Daniel Mc- 
Carty, which tract embraced a strip of country extending 
from Broad Run to Sugar Land Run and covered parts 
of several Counties." In referring to the fondness of 

3 Menasha, Wis., 1916. 

80 THE McCarthys 

the family for following the chase, she relates this amus- 
ing incident : 

"My grandfather, Daniel McCarty, whose mother was a 
Miss Ball, married a daughter of George Mason of Gunston 
Hall. He had ten sons and one daughter. When they all 
grew up, Cedar Grove became the scene of continued frolick- 
ing. Fox-hunting was the favorite pastime, especially of 
Daniel, the eldest son. So do our predilections decide our 
fate. One day when the chase had been unusually long and 
hard, he became separated from his companions and followed 
the quarry, until after many doublings and windings, it ran 
unexpectedly into the wooded lawn of a gentleman's house. 
Daniel rushed after in hot pursuit to find himself confronted 
by a beautiful young woman, in whose arms the fox had taken 
sanctuary. With flashing eyes, she dared him to touch it 
and he instantly divined that the little animal must be a pet 
in the family. Confused and contrite, he threw himself from 
his horse and hat in hand stammered his apologies. Alas! 
the fox got the better of the hunter that October day, for 
Daniel was so hard hit that he never rested until he won the 
spirited damsel for his wife. The temper, however, which 
had seemed so charming in the maid, proved less attractive 
in the spouse and many tales are told of her violent and un- 
reasonable temper. Daniel McCarty died before he was forty 
and his friends were accustomed to say, in speaking of him, 
that in chasing a fox he caught a vixen!" 

The Page McCarty before referred to had a pictur- 
esque career as lavt^yer, journalist and duelist, and the 
duel which he fought with John Mordecai near Rich- 
mond 42 years ago, in its romantic and tragic circum- 
stances, created as much sensation at the time as that in 
which his uncle, John Mason McCarty, took part about 
sixty years before. Page IMcCarty was best known as a 
writer of short stories, and as editor of The Campaign 
during the "Readjuster Days" in Virginia, he achieved 
considerable local fame. His utterances, however, 
brought down on him the wrath of certain political ele- 


ments in the State, and being a man of fiery temper he 
became embroiled in more than one quarrel. In an 
account of his career we are told : ' ' The reigning belle 
and beauty of the day in Richmond was Mary Triplett, 
one of the most charming and queenly women ever pro- 
duced in Virginia. Hundreds worshipped at her shrine 
and she was known as Hhe Belle of the South.' Ming- 
ling in the best society, Mordecai and McCarty constantly 
met Miss Triplett and soon were rivals for her favor, 
outstripping, it is said, all the rest. The two, once 
feuch fast friends, became estranged, although not exactly 
hostile to each other. So matters went until an event 
occurred, joyous in its nature, but the beginning of a 
tragedy which ended one life and wrecked another. A 
grand ball was given at which the favored portion of the 
social world of Richmond was present. Miss Triplett 
was, as always, the center of attraction and among 
her devoted cavaliers were Mordecai and McCarty. The 
former was the favored suitor that night and the pa- 
tience of the high-spirited McCarty was severely tried. 
Finally, the beauty slighted him in such a marked man- 
ner that he left the ball thoroughly enraged." 

This incident served to widen the breach between 
Mordecai and McCarty and when they met at the Rich- 
mond Club a few days later a quarrel arose, which ended 
in a challenge from McCarty to fight. The spot selected 
for the duel was near Oakwood Cemetery, where sleep 
the remains of twenty thousand Confederate soldiers. 
"On a beautiful afternoon in May, 1878, two carriages 
left the City by different routes, bound for the place 
chosen. The sun was just sinking below the horizon 
as the men were placed in position, each one cool and 
calm. At the word both fired, and when the smoke 
lifted each lay on the ground apparently lifeless. A 

82 THE McCarthys 

cursory examination by the surgeons revealed wounds 
of a terrible nature. McCarty's right thigh had been 
shattered, while the bullet from his pistol had pierced 
Mordecai's abdomen. Two days later, Mordecai died, 
while MeCarty was confined to his bed desperately ill. 
The seconds were arrested and lodged in jail, where 
they remained for six weeks. At the end of that time 
McCarty, having partially recovered, was placed on trial, 
and was convicted and sentenced to pay a fine of $500, as 
well as to serve a sentence of six months in jail. He 
paid the fine, but was pardoned a few days later by 
Governor Kemper, on the statement of physicians that 
he would die if confined. Since that day to the time 
of his death, McCarty was a miserable man. He avoided 
women and was inclined to shun all mankind. He re- 
entered the newspaper field, doing work on the Washing- 
ton Post and Alexandria and Richmond papers. Mary 
Triplett, whose fatal beauty caused the tragedy, mar- 
ried Captain Philip Hoxall a short time after the duel. 
She died suddenly of heart disease a few years ago. 
To the last she was a leader of society." 

Besides Major Dennis McCarty and his family who 
lived in Prince William and Stafford Counties, the land 
records show that others of the name settled in that 
part of the Colony about the year 1730. By deed dated 
February 19, 1729, Lord Fairfax conveyed to ''Alex- 
ander MacCarthy, Gent, of the County of Prince George 
in the Province of Maryland," 200 acres of land in 
Clifton's Neck, Stafford County,* and it is evident that 
MacCarthy removed from Maryland and settled in this 
vicinity, since his name is found on record there two 
years later. On December 11, 1730, he received a grant 
of ' ' 290 acres on the northeast side of Tuskarora Branch 

4 Patent Book C, p. 29, at Virginia Liand office. 


adjoining the lands of George Keaton," ^ and three days 
later he patented ''340 acres on Little Hunting Creek 
adjoining the lands of George Brenton. "^ In the records 
of the Circuit Court at Manassas, Va., under date of 
November 20, 1733, there is an entry of a deed of con- 
veyance from Benjamin Grayson to Alexander Mac- 
Carthy of a tract of land lying on Goose Creek in Prince 
William County, and on August 18, 1749, Cornelius Mac- 
Carthy purchased lands lying on Goose Creek from Ber- 
trand Ewell. There is nothing to indicate whether these 
Prince William and Stafford MacCarthys were related 
to the other McCartys, descended from Dennis and 
Daniel, although there is a tradition among Cornelius' 
descendants in Kentucky that "the connection between 
their line and the Dennis-Daniel-Thaddeus McCarty 
line goes back to a very early beginning, ' ' "^ 

Cornelius MacCarthy had sons, Cornelius and Thomas, 
and daughters, Nancy and Betsey, all of whom spelled 
their name McCarty. In the historical publications of 
William and Mjary College there are long accounts of 
these McCartys. Cornelius, Junior, who was born in 
Prince William County in 1766,. married Susannah 
Hardwick on December 12, 1787, and in 1798 they re- 
moved to Kentucky and twelve years later they are 
found on Otter Creek in Hardin (now Meade) County, 
Kentucky. Thomas McCarty and his wife also migrated 
with Cornelius and settled in the same locality. Cor- 
nelius McCarty was the father of eleven, and Thomas 
McCarty of twelve children and according to a long list 
of their descendants,^ they are now scattered all over 
the Western States as far as the Pacific Coast. In 1780, 

6 Patent Book C, p. 84. 
Ihid., p. 85. 

7 William and Mary College Quarterly, Vol. 22. 

8 In William and Mary College Quarterly, Vol. 22. 

84 THE McCarthys 

Nancy McCarty married James Crook of an old Virginia 
family and had three children, all brought up in the 
family of Thomas McCarty on his Kentucky plantation, 
after being orphaned through the death of their parents. 
Betsey McCarty married Jacob McConathy of Delaware, 
whose commission as Captain of Virginia militia in the 
Revolution bears the signature of Patrick Henry. The 
McConathys also removed to Kentucky in 1797 and the 
graves of several of the name and of the McCartys, 
and of Daniel McCarty Paine, may be seen in the old 
McConathy burying-ground near Lexington. Captain 
McConathy is said to have been the owner of "the first 
steam mill operated west of the Alleghanies near Lexing- 
ton. ' ' 

It is evident that Cornelius retained portion of his 
landed property in Virginia, since one of his descend- 
ants ® is in possession of an unrecorded deed dated De- 
cember 23, 1816, between Cornelius McCarty and 
Susannah, his wife, of the one part and James Kincheloe 
of Fauquier County, Va., of the other part, covering 
the sale of two hundred acres of land in Fauquier 
County. Cornelius died probably in 1830, since his will 
is dated September 20 of that year and was probated 
on February 28, 1831. His brother, Thomas, died in 
Kentucky in 1828. Their children married into families 
named Beaver, Bentlej^ Dawson, Workington, Lusk, 
Murdock, Moreland, Jewell, Kelley, Chambers, Lee, 
Mahan, Steele, Wilson, Ihrie and Greer, and their de- 
scendants are now all over the Western and Southern 
States. A grandson of Cornelius, William M. McCarty 
of Salt Lake, was a Judge of the courts in Utah. 

The difficulty of tracing people of the name who ap- 
pear in Virginia records and establishing their relation- 

9 Thomas McCarty Murdock of Davidson, Indiana. 


ships, is well illustrated by entries in the parish books 
of Overwharton Parish in Stafford County. According 
to this record, *'John, son of William and Agnes Mc- 
Carty," and "John, son of William MeCarty," were 
born in that parish on March 27th, and April 1st, 1741 
respectively, and William McCarty died there on July 
15, 1743. Among the marriages recorded in the parish 
register were : Agnes McCartee to James Hughes on May 
6, 1744; Elizabeth McCarthy to Simson Bailey on De- 
cember 24, 1747 ; Eleanor McCarty to John Lemmon on 
April 10, 1748; Frances McCarty to John Diskin on 
June 19, 1755, and Margaret McCarty to Stephen Hans- 
ford on October 14, 1755. Ignatius McCarthy appears 
in the burial records of the church on February 18, 
1755. Among other entries are found : ' ' Peter Murphy 
Carty, son of Honour Carty, died December 1, 1748"; 
"Honour Cartee was delivered of a male child which 
died soon after, November 20, 1749," and "Thomas 
Cartee died at Stephen Pilcher's June 18, 1751." 
Honour Carty or Cartee was the wife of Thomas and 
the daughter of Peter Murphy, whose name appears 
several times in the vital records of the parish. While 
we know that Daniel, the Speaker, owned lands in Staf- 
ford and that his son, Dennis, was a resident of the 
County before it was divided by the formation of Prince 
William, there seems to be nothing to indicate if these 
various McCartys were of the same family, and inquiries 
among living descendants of Daniel bring forth no in- 

There is no scarcity of Irish names in the records of 
Overwharton Parish, and among the surnames in the 
birth and marriage records between 1735 and 1755 are 
found Barry, Burke, Carberry, Carney, Cassidy, Con- 
nolly, Conwell, Dalton, Dillon, Dowling, Driscoll, Duffy, 

86 THE McCarthys 

Fitzpatrick, Fling, Foley, Gallahan, Gill, Gorman, Hef- 
fernan, Kelly, Kenny, Maccaboy, McDonald, McGuirk, 
MacMahon, ]\I]aeMurray, Murphy, Nowland, O'Bannion, 
O'Neal, O'Cane, 'Daniel and Sullivan. Several of 
these people are also recorded at the Land office in 
Richmond as patentees of lands in Stafford County, as 
well as people named Connyers, Dongan, Dermott, Ho- 
gan, Keeffe, Lynch, McCormick, McGuire, McLoughlin, 
Prendergast, Regan and Ryley between 1710 and 1749.^*' 
One Edmond MacCarthy came at a very early date to 
Isle of Wight and Brunswick Counties, Va. At the 
Land Office I found a patent recorded ^^ as of Septem- 
ber 28, 1728, under which "William Gooch, Lieutenant- 
Governor and Commander-in-Chief of the Colony of 
Virginia," granted to "Edmond Macarthy" a tract of 
"960 acres of land on both sides of the north fork of 
Jeneto Creek in the County of Brunswick," and in this 
instrument the patentee is described as " of Isle of Wight 
County." Twelve years later he received a grant of 
940 acres in Isle of Wight County, and since he is re- 
ferred to in this patent as "of Brunswick County" it is 
probable that he took up and resided on the first-men- 
tioned grant. These are the only references to Edmond 
MacCarthy that appear in the land books and all efforts 
to obtain further information about him have been un- 

About 1730 a number of Irish settlers located in 
Orange County, Va., and in the tax lists of that County 
of the years 1734—1739 are found sopie of the most 
distinctive Celtic names. James Carthey is recorded as 
the patentee of a tract of one thousand acres of land in 

10 The land patents to these people may be seen in Books A, B. 0, 
3, 4 and 5, at the State Land OflSce. 

11 Book 14. p. 29. 



Orange County on October 23, 1739/2 but this is the 
only mention of his name I have found. One of the 
early settlers in the same vicinity between 1748 and 
1750 was Timothy McCarty.^^ Cartmell mentions him 
in his Shenandoah Valley Pioneers and their Descend- 
ants among those included in "Washington's ''Field 
Notes" relating to surveys of lands in old Frederick 
County, and Washington's *' Journal of My Journey over 
the Mountains," ^* written while surveying for Lord 
Fairfax in the Northern Neck of Virginia, shows that 
he surveyed a plot for Timothy McCarty on August 
26, 1750/^ 

In a "Poll List of Frederick County, containing the 
names of those who voted for George Washington when 
a candidate for the House of Burgesses, taken July 24, 
1758, ' ' the name of Darby McCarty is listed.^^ He also 
appears in the land records. By deed dated December 
20, 1754, Lord Fairfax conveyed "400 acres of land 
on a branch of the North River of Shenandoah called 
Passage Creek," in Frederick County, to "Darby 
Macarthy" ^^ and there is another grant on record dated 

12 Council Journals of Virginia. 

13 West Virginia Historical Magazine, Vol. I. 

14 P. 120; Albany, N. Y., 1892. 

15 Others for whom Washington made land surveys about the same 
time in Frederick County were Darby McKeever, Barney McHandry, Patrick 
Mathews, Dr. James McCormick, Hugh Rankin, Thomas McClanahan, 
Thomas and Francis Carney, Edward Hogan, Francis and William McBride, 
Daniel McKelduff, Patrick Rice and John Madden. 

16 Among the electors of Frederick County, whose names appear in 
this list were 

Tobias Burke 
James Burne 
James Barrett 
William Barrett 
Thomas Carney 
William Cockran 
John McCormick 
Pat McDaniel 
Joseph McDonnell 

Robert Cunningham 
Matthew Coleman 
William Carrel 
William Coil 
Patrick Duncan 
Richard Foley 
John Madden 
Laughlin Madden 
William McMahon 

John Grinnan 
James Grinnan 
Murtie Hanley 
William McGee 
Darby McCarty 
Robert Marney 
Darby Murphy 

Richard McMahon 
James McGill 
Robert McCoy 
James McCormick 
Joseph McCormick 
William Reynolds 
Patrick Rice 

17 Land Records, Book H, p. 590. 

88 THE McCarthys 

December 17, 1771, by whieb Lord Fairfax conveyed 
to "Darby McCarty" a tract of 253 acres in the same 
vicinity, and the deed recited that the grant was made 
"as by survey thereof dated June the First, 1757, made 
for the said Darby McCarty by George Hume and for- 
feited by Virtue of an Advertisement issued from my 
ofQce and recorded there in Book N, but on application 
of said Darby McCarty I have allowed a Deed to issue 
to him for said Land."^^ 

Daniel and James McCarty appear in lists of Virginia 
colonial militia of the years 1758 to 1762 and James 
McCarty and John "McCartrey" fought on the Virginia 
frontier in Lord Dunmore's war in 1774.^^^ One Michael 
McCarty was also in Virginia about this time and his 
name occurs several times in the records of the General 
Assembly. Twelve soldiers, who said they had been 
"some time employed as Guardmen over the Magazine 
in the City of Williamsburg," having been "discharged ' 
from that duty ' ' and being about ' ' to enlist in the Militia 
and find proper Arms," they petitioned the legislature 
to be permitted "to keep the Arms they made use of 
when they guarded the Magazine," being "very poor 
men and not able to spare much for the maintenance 
of their respective Families as well as purchase suitable 
Arms for mustering." Michael McCarty 's name ap- 
pears at the head of this petition, which was read in 
the House of Burgesses on December 23, 1762, but was 
rejected. On November 6, 1766, Mlichael McCarty again 
turns up as an applicant for appointment as "Door 
Keeper to this House," but Michael received only three 
votes in the committee and Robert Hyland was appointed 
to the place. On February 8, 1772, Michael McCarty 

18 Land Records, Book P, p. 91. 

19 Documentary History of Lord Dunmore's War, ed. by Reuben G. 
Thwaites; Madison, Wis., 1905. 


was again one of the unsuccessful applicants for the 
place.-'' William Cartie of Albemarle County fought in 
two wars, as also did Daniel McCarty. The latter 's 
record reads thus: "Daniel McCarty, deceased soldier 
in Captain Giles Raines' Company, 2nd. Virginia Regi- 
ment ; served May 6, 1774, to March 2, 1780, and received 
a land warrant which reverted to his sister, Sarah, wife 
of Captain Giles Raines, " ^^ Florence McCarty was also 
a resident of Albemarle County and in 1776 he signed 
a "Petition of Albemarle and Amherst Dissenters" to 
the House of Delegates, praying to be relieved of certain 
burdensome taxes. 

The Acts of the Virginia General Assembly, in Hen- 
ing's Statutes at Large,^^ contain various references to 
the McCartys, the earliest being official documents of 
the year 1714 bearing the joint signatures of Alexander 
Spotswood, Governor, and Daniel McCarty, Speaker of 
the House. ^^ The McCartys and Washingtons were en- 
gaged in the cultivation and exportation of tobacco,^* 
and in many parts of Virginia this was the staple prod- 
uct of the soil and from the earliest times tobacco was 
the currency of the Colony. So extensive was its pro- 
duction that many Acts of the Legislature were passed 
regulating the culture and trade in tobacco, and one 
office of the vestries was to appoint "reputable free- 
holders ' ' to supervise the crops and their shipment, and 

20 Journals of the House of Burgesses. 

21 Records of Land Bounty Certificates, No. 2. 

22 The full title is The Statutes at Large, being a Collection of ail the 
Laws of Virginia from the First Session of the Legislature in the year 
1619, by William Waller Hening; published at Richmond in sixteen 

23 Ibid., Vol. IV, pp. 58, 75 and 76. 

24 In The Writings of Thomas Jefferson (Vol. V, pp. 406-407; Wash- 
ington 1904) may be read correspondence in the year 1786 between him 
and William McCarty, acting on behalf of the tobacco growers of Virginia, 
in relation to the prices prevailing in Europe for American tobacco. 
Jefferson was then in Paris. 

90 THE McCarthys 

as early as 1731 we find Dennis MeCarty appointed to 
this then important post. At various times also the 
Assembly ordered the erection of warehouses on the 
Potomac and Rappahannock Rivers, where the tobacco 
was brought in for inspection and prepared for ship- 
ment. One of these warehouses was erected on Dennis 
McCarty's land on Pohick Run, another on Daniel Me- 
Carty 's property at Occoquan Ferry and another on 
the Washington property at the mouth of Great Hunt- 
ing Creek. These places were made ports of entry and 
soon became busy marts of trade, sending out for many 
years ships laden with cargoes of tobacco and other 
products for foreign ports. 

"An Act for Amending the Staple of Tobacco and 
for preventing Frauds in his Majesty's Customs," passed 
at a session in May, 1732, directed that a number of 
public warehouses be erected at various points, one of 
which was "for the use of the inhabitants of Prince 
William County at Pohick, upon Mr. Dennis McCarty's 
land. "^^ By "An Act for erecting a town at Bray's 
Church on the north side of the Rappahannock River in 
King George County, ' ' passed in May, 1742, the Legisla- 
ture appointed Daniel IVIbCarty one of seven directors 
and trustees who were directed to carry out the enter- 
prise.-" At a session held in November, 1753, an Act 
was passed ' ' for erecting a town on the Occoquan River 
in the County of Fairfax on the land of Peter Wagoner," 
which "would be very convenient for trade and naviga- 
tion and greatly to the ease and advantage of the frontier 
inhabitants," and under this Act the land taken was 
"vested in Peter Wagoner, Daniel McCarty, John Barry, 
William Elzy and Edward Washington, Gentlemen," 

25 Hening's Statutes at Large, Vol. IV, p. 331, and Vol. V, p. 233. 

26 Ibid.. Vol. V p. 194. 


and these several gentlemen were "constituted and ap- 
pointed directors and trustees for designing, building, 
carrying on and maintaining the said town upon the 
land aforesaid." ^'' 

By "An Act for opening and clearing the navigation 
of the Rappahannock River," dated December 11, 1795, 
Henry Lee and Daniel McCarty were appointed "Man- 
agers" of the undertaking,^* and at the same session of 
the legislature William McCleary, Nicholas Casey, 
Michael Kerns and Edward McCarty were appointed, 
a board of four commissioners who were "authorized 
and empowered to contract and agree with some fit per- 
sons for repairing the waggon road from the mouth of 
Savage River to Morgantown on the Mbnongalia River 
upon the best terms that can be obtained." ^'^ It is an 
interesting circumstance that all four Commissioners 
bore Irish names. 

Daniel McCarthy was appointed on December 31, 1798, 
to lay out the town of South Haven in Fairfax County,^** 
and Edward McCarty of Hampshire County was selected 
on December 1, 1800, as one of the Commissioners under 
"An Act to incorporate a Company for establishing 
a turnpike road from the mouth of Savage River, on 
St. George's Creek on Potowmac to the nearest western 
navigation. ' ' ^^ Colonel Daniel McCarty was a member 
of "The Potomac Company," an organization first pro- 
jected in 1762 for the development of western lands. 
In Virginia records it is referred to frequently, espe- 
cially in connection with acts of the legislature relating 
to the clearing and improvement of the Potomac River 
to make it fit for navigation, and a list of Virginia gentle- 
men who, in November, 1774, were appointed trustees 

27 Hening's Statutes, Vol. VI, p. 397. 3" Ibid., Vol. XV, p. 177. 
2S Ibid., Vol. XIV, p. 407. Zilbid., Vol. XV, p. 249. 

23 Ibid., Vol. XIV, p. 389. 

92 THE McCarthys 

of the company is headed by such names as George Wash- 
ington, George and Thomson Mason, Bryan Fairfax, 
John Carlyle and Daniel McCarty.^^ The provisions of 
"an Act concerning the Patowmac Company," passed 
January 27, 1803, in relation to the "deepening of the 
locks at the great falls of the Potomac," said: "Tobias 
Lear, Stevens T. Mason, Lawrence A. Washington, Hugh 
Holmes, Nicholas Fitzhugh Osborne and Edward Mc- 
Carty are hereby appointed Commissioners to explore 
and view the said river . . . and shall report to the next 
General Assembly the manner in which said work is 
done. "3^ 

The Edward McCarty here referred to was a son of 
Patrick jMcCarty, who with his two brothers emigrated 
from Ireland about the year 1740, Patrick locating in 
Hampshire County and the others are supposed to have 
settled in the Valley of Virginia.^* The place where 
he located was on Patterson's Creek, a branch of the 
Potomac, some distance south of the present City of 
Cumberland, Md., where the States of West Virginia, 
Pennsylvania and Maryland meet. It was a sparsely 
settled frontier region and from the beginning it was 
known as "Paddytown," but is now called Keyser. 
Soon a sufficient community had gathered together to 
from quite a settlement, which came to be known as 
' ' The Irish Settlement, ' ' and for many years the people 
lived in comparative peace. But, after the defeat of 
Braddoek in 1755, and the Indians, flushed with victory, 
went on the warpath, this region was visited frequently 
by bands of savages, which made it necessary for the 

32 Virginia Gazette, November 10, 1774. 

33 Henins's Statutes, Vol. XV, p. 465. 

34 Patrick's living descendants are unable to furnish the names of the 
two brothers, but I am satisfied that they were the Darby McCarty of 
Orange County and Timothy McCarty of Pocahontas County, mentioned 
elsewhere in this book. 


settlers to erect blockhouses and stockades, to where 
they fled for safety when warned of an approaching 

The sad fate of Patrick McCarty illustrates the hazards 
of frontier life. In the year 1762, while McCarty and 
his neighbors were harvesting their crops, the place was 
attacked by a band of Indians, and all but Windle Miller 
and Patrick McCarty managed to reach the blockhouse in 
safety. Miller was shot dead, but, on account of the 
breaking of a rail while in the act of climbing a fence, 
McCarty was overtaken and captured and was burned by 
the savages at the stake. Many years afterwards, on 
the spot where this awful tragedy took place, a stone 
was erected, which still stands and bears the following 
inscription : 

"In memory of two early settlers on this creek 


shot dead by Indians on this spot and buried here in the year 
1761, leaving a Widow Elizabeth 5 sons and 4 daughters. 


Taken prisoner at the same time and afterwards burned at 
the stake by the savages leaving a widow and one son Colonel 
Edward McCarty and 4 daughters. This son and Miller's 
daughter Elizabeth were married and to these 14 children 
have arisen ^^ . . ." 

The year "1761" undoubtedly is an error, because 
I have found at the Land Office in Richmond a record 
of a grant dated October 5, 1762, from Lord Fairfax 
to "Patrick McCarty of Hampshire County," of "70 
acres of land on the North Branch of the Potomac River 
in said County," one of the boundary lines of which is 
described as "the lands of Daniel O'Neal."^® It must 
be assumed that Patrick McCarty was alive at the time 

35 The remainder of the inscription cannot be deciphered. 

36 Land Records, Book M, p. 64. 

94 THE McCarthys 

this grant was made. One of his descendants states that 
"Patrick McCarty's grandchildren were the only old 
settlers of the name in Hampshire County and owned 
practically all of the country around New Creek, now 
called Keyser, but then known as Paddy Town." Ed- 
ward McCarty, son of Patrick, was the leading man of 
his time in that part of Virginia, and, as his great- 
grandson ''^ informs me, "he stood six feet six inches 
in heighth, weighed over 250 pounds, was a man of 
extraordinary energy and capacity, and was engaged in 
all kinds of business in that section. ' ' He was a soldier 
of the Revolution and in 1781, when only twenty-five 
years of age, he commanded a company of General Wil- 
liam Darke's regiment of the Virginia Continental Line, 
and there is an account of his death in the Providence 
(R. I.) American of September 21, 1824, reading: 

"Died, Colonel Edward JMcCarty in Virginia, aged 
68 years, an officer and patriot of the Revolution." 
There are many references to him in the court records 
of old Augusta County, in all of which he is styled 
"Colonel" Edward McCarty, and it is assumed that this 
title was conferred on him after the war. That he lived 
on New Creek as early as 1774 is evident from some 
testimony taken in a suit at law entitled "Marshall vs. 
Janney," tried in Augusta County court on June 22, 
1799. The cause of action concerned title to certain 
lands on New Creek and Edward McCarty testified that 
"he had known the lands involved in the suit since 
1770." He also appeared in a case entitled "Coleman 
vs. Morgan," concerning a tract of 600 acres on Big 
Sandy Creek, part of a tract originally granted to Cap- 
tain John Savage and others in December, 1775, and 
which, after several transfers came into possession of 

37 George S. McCarty of Woo^bury, N. J. 


Edward McCarty by deed from Daniel Jones dated Au- 
gust 11, 1801. 

At the State Land Office there are records of several 
land grants in Hampshire and Hardy Counties to Ed- 
ward McCarty. On March 5, 1780, Beverly Randolph, 
Governor of Virginia, conveyed to him "401 acres of 
land as surveyed November 20, 1764," and in this deed 
he is described as "heir at law of Patrick McCarty." ^^ 
On June 30th, of the same year Edmond Randolph, 
Governor of Virginia, conveyed to Edward McCarty 192 
acres in the same vicinity,^" and on March 6, 1789, Gov- 
ernor Randolph signed a grant in his favor for forty- 
nine acres on Howell's Run, Hardy County,*'' Hamp- 
shire County owes much to Colonel Edward IMcCarty 
and his sons. For many years they were actively en- 
gaged in the building of highways and opening up the 
rough, mountainous country for the entry of settlers, 
and it is said that the town now known as White Post 
in Hampshire County, W. Va., took its name from a stake 
or post painted white erected in the vicinity for the 
purpose of marking out a tract of land patented by one 
of the McCartys. 

He cultivated a large tract of land on the north 
branch of the Potomac, known as Black Oak Bottom, 
which remained in possession of the family until 1882 
when it was sold for $30,000. He and his sons were 
the first to clear out the Potomac and make it fit for 
navigation, and for many years the sons were engaged 
in the business of transporting down the river lumber, 
flour and charcoal for Eastern and European markets. 
One of the many enterprises started by this family was 
the establishment of a bank at Cumberland, Md., in the 

38 Land Records, Book T, p. 239. 
S9 Ibid., Book S, p. 470. 
io Ibid,, Book T, p. 367. 

96 THE McCarthys 

year 1811, which was conducted by Patrick, Edward and 
Michael McCarty, sons of Colonel Edward McCarty, 
and which still exists as the First National Bank of 
Cumberland. Edward McCarty (2nd) was born at 
Cumberland in 1784 and died at that place in 1849. He 
married Sarah/ Cresap and by her had two sons, James 
who resided at Cumberland, and Joseph who settled 
at Clarksburg, W. Va., from where he emigrated to the 
west, settling at Kansas City, and thence to Washington 
County, Texas, where he died in 1877. 

A descendant of Patrick McCarty now residing at 
Romney, Hampshire County, West Virginia, writes me 
as follows: "The McCartys have all lived in Virginia 
and one of my paternal ancestors was among the earliest 
white settlers at White Post and Winchester, Virginia, 
about the time of the Revolution, locating there with 
people named Meade and Page. They are connected 
with many of the oldest and best families of the Valley. 
The rest of their people settled east of the Blue Ridge. 
From a child I have been told we are Scotch-Irish, but 
that we are descended from the best people in Ireland. 
Now, however, I am proud to learn that I am a descend- 
ant of the real Irish. Father says, as far back as he 
can remember, that our great-grandfather's religion was 
Methodist or Scotch Presbyterian. ' ' After relating some 
more interesting family history, this lady shows that 
even time's vicissitudes have not entirely eliminated 
her Irish blood, for she naively remarks, "we McCartys 
are of the fighting races; the boys of our family have 
been true to the flag of freedom; they went where duty 
called, and never asked for the world's honors; 'Duty 
and Service' was their motto and I believe I have a 
justifiable pride in saying that I belong to a family that 
has left its mark, not only in the history of Virginia and 


West Virginia, but in many parts of the West, where 
the descendants of the Virginia McCartys settled at va- 
rious times during the past century." 

If testimony were wanted in support of the statement 
that the Irish in America have neglected their oppor- 
tunities of relating their history, here is a living wit- 
ness. This lady, a sturdy, and patriotic descendant of 
the ancient race of Clancarthy, who were Princes in 
the Emerald Isle long before the English connection 
blasted the future of that unhappy country and scattered 
her children far and wide, has always been under the im- 
pression that she came of the "Scotch-Irish," and now 
for the fii'st time learns that she is of the ancient Irish 

In the records of wills and deeds of old Augusta 
County the name occurs frequently, its earliest appear- 
ance being the year 1764 in the person of Thomas Mc- 
Carthy, who lived in that part of Augusta that is now 
embraced in Hampshire County, West Virginia. A law- 
suit entitled "Thomas McCarthy vs. George Massinbird" 
was tried in Augusta County in the year 1798, and the 
papers in the case recited that Thomas McCarthy, Sr., 
father of the plaintiff, purchased from Massinbird ' ' 1010 
acres of land on the Little Levels of Greenbrier in 
Bath County by deed dated April 14, 1796;" that on 
October 5, 1797, he conveyed 500 acres to the plaintiff 
and the remainder of the tract the McCarthys sold to 
William Poage. James Crawford of Augusta County 
claimed 270 acres of the tract under a patent confirmed 
by the court on May 2, 1783, and on the trial of a 
suit against McCarthy, Crawford secured judgment. 
Thomas McCarthy, Sr., died on March 25, 1799, leaving 
his son, Thomas, his sole heir, and the latter sued Massin- 
bird for the loss of the 270 acres recovered by Crawford. 

98 THE McCarthys 

Both suits occupy many pages of the record and are 
referred as ''the notable cause of the McCartys." In 
the record of another case styled "McCarthy vs. 
Machir," concerning lands sold by Thomas McCarthy 
to James Machir on October 15, 1795, Thomas McCarthy, 
Sr., is described as "of Hardy County" and his son 
as "of Monroe County," The "home plantation" was 
near a place called Moorfield in Hardy County, now 
in West Virginia, and one of their neighbors at this 
place was John Jackson, a native of County Derry, 
Ireland, who was the great-grandfather of General 
"Stonewall" Jackson of Civil War fame. Previous to 
locating in Hardy County, however, Thomas McCarthy 
acquired lands in Hampshire County, and there are 
patents recorded at Richmond by which Edmund Ran- 
dolph, Governor of Virginia, conveyed to Thomas Mc- 
Carthy 108 acres on Brake's Run on September 15, 
1780,*^ and 405 acres more on November 24, 1789, "which 

were surveyed for Thomas McCarthy on May 27, 
1771." *2 

On March 17, 1767, Samuel Pepper gave a bond in 
Augusta County court "as administrator of James 
Carty,"*^ and on November 19, 1768, he tiled a "sale 
bill" in connection with his administration of "James 
Cartie's estate."** There is also an entry under date 
of April 18, 1787, reading: "James McCartey's estate 
settled by Samuel Pepper." *^ One William Watterson 
conveyed to "James McCarty of the City of Williams- 
burg, Va.," by deed dated April 12, 1768, "600 acres 
of land on the Middle River in Augusta County, bounded 

41 Land Records, Book T, p. 19. 

42 Ibid., Book U, p. 367. 

43 Will Book of Augusta County, No. 3. 

44 Ibid., No. 4. 

45 Ibid., No. 7. 


by the lands of John Anderson and James Allen" for 
a consideration of 150 pounds.*^ 

Timothy McCarty was an early settler in Pocahontas 
County, now in West Virginia. His name appears in 
the land and survey records between 1745 and 1750 and 
I am of the belief that this was the same Timothy 
McCarty already alluded to under Orange County, for 
whom George Washington made a land survey in the 
3^ear 1750. This Timothy McCarty was a soldier in 
the War of the Revolution in the Virginia State Line, 
and that the fighting spirit of the race did not die out, 
is clear from the remarkable military records of his 
descendants. Seven of his sons served in the War of 
1812; three grandsons served in the Union army and 
several others in the Confederate ranks in the Civil 
War; two of his great-grandsons served in the Philip- 
pines in the war with Spain, and one of his descendants 
has sent me a list of ten American soldiers named Mc- 
Carty who gave up their lives in France in the World 
War, some of whom were descended from the Irish exile, 
Timothy McCarty. An historian of Pocahontas County 
makes the following interesting references to this pioneer 
Irishman and his sons : 

"One of the earliest pioneers in our County was Timothy 
McCarty, a native of Ireland. He settled on Knapp's Creek 
previous to the Revolution and was a soldier in that memorable 
war for independence. He could speak from experience that 
hard was the contest for liberty and the struggle for inde- 
pendence. With his humble hand he helped to make the 
history that forms one of the most instructive chapters in 
the annals of human endeavors for 'life, liberty and the pursuit 
of happiness.' His first marriage was with Nancy Honeyman 
and they settled on lands near Frost (W. Va.), thence re- 
moved to Brown's Mountain and opened up property. By his 

48 Deed Book No. 15, fol. 143, Augusta County court records. 

100 THE McCarthys 

first marriage there were seven sons, Daniel, Preston, Justin, 
James and Thomas, the names of the others not remembered. 
All of these sons were soldiers in the War of 1812 and but 
one of them (Daniel) ever returned to Pocahontas to live; 
the rest either perished in the war or went to Tennessee or 
Kentucky. Timothy McCarty's second man-iage was with 
Jane Waugh, by whom he had thirteen children. He was 
one of those who stood faithfully in the struggle for American 
independence, and is one of the few Revolutionary veterans 
buried in our mountain land." *'' 

Many descendants of Timothy McCarty are now liv- 
ing in various parts of West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsyl- 
vania, Kansas and Minnesota. Daniel McCarty, son of 
Timothy, and his wife, Elizabeth Moore, settled on his 
father's lands in Brown's Mountain, and his step-brother, 
Jacob McCarty, was a member of the West Virginia 
legislature and was prominent in the political affairs of 
the State many years ago. 

Another soldier who served in the War of 1812 was 
Peter McCarty of Winchester, Va., and for his services 
in that war he received a grant of land, which however 
he did not take up. His great-great-granddaughter 
informs me that there is a tradition in the family that he 
was a brother of Cornelius and Thomas McCarty, already 
mentioned as having emigrated to Kentucky from Prince 
William County in the year 1798, and although his 
descendants claim that he was descended from the orig- 
inal Daniel of Westmoreland County, it is clear that 
they are in error, since there is no record of any Peter 
in that branch of the family. Moreover, Peter of Win- 
chester as well as his father, were Catholics and did 
not abandon the old faith, which would make it appear 
that they were more recent arrivals from Ireland. 
Peter's first and second wives were Methodists and 

47 Historical Sketches of Pocahontas County, W. Ta., by William T. 
Price, pp. 404-408; Marlinton, W. Va., 1901. 


nearly all their descendants have adhered to the Metho- 
dist religion. I am informed that ''he was a man of 
some importance in West Virginia about a hundred 
years ago, a large landowner and brick manufacturer 
and a well-known sportsman in his time." Some time 
before the Civil War his aged widow took up his land 
grant and was given lands near Iroquois, Illinois, where 
she located with her son, James. 

Peter McCarty's children were George, Joseph S., 
John, James, Andrew, Rebecca Ann and Elizabeth Ann. 
George left a large family and his grandchildren are 
now scattered through Virginia and Ohio. Joseph S., 
is described as "a man of great force of character, a 
Justice at Winchester for many years," and although 
nearly fifty years of age at the time of the outbreak 
of the Civil War, he enlisted in the Confederate army 
and was captured and sent to Fort McHenry by Sheri- 
dan's troops in 1864. He was the father of seven sons 
and one daughter, and three of his sons, William H., 
Cornelius M. and Samuel E. McCarty, served in the 
Confederate army and were imprisoned for a time at 
Fort McHenry. William N. was a purchasing agent for 
the army, until captured and imprisoned, and after the 
war he became a Methodist preacher on the Rockbridge, 
Va. Circuit. Of Peter's other sons, John died about 
1835 ; James married Nancy Hall, and with their eleven 
children they removed to Illinois, and Andrew removed 
to Xenia, Ohio. Rebecca Ann married Charles Blake 
of New Hampshire and had ten children, and Elizabeth 
Ann married a Mr. Stewart of Virginia and had seven 
children. All told, Peter McCarty had fifty-four grand- 
children and thirty-nine great-grandchildren, many of 
whom now live at Iroquois and Sheldon, Illinois, at 
Lafayette and Brook, Indiana, and at Zenia, Ohio. 

102 THE McCarthys 

Others of his descendants in the male line I have traced 
to Berryville, "White Hall and Greenspring, Va., to 
Romney and Keyser, W. Va., to San Antonio, Texas, 
Baltimore, Md., Philadelphia, Pa., and Elmira and 
Oswego, N. Y., and the graves of many members of the 
family may be seen in the little rural cemeteries at 
White Post, Kernstown and Winchester, Va. 

The name turns up in the public records of so many 
different parts of Virginia during the colonial period, 
and with little or nothing in most cases to serve as a 
guide to enable one to trace these people or determine 
their relationships, that in many instances one has to 
give up the search as an apparently hopeless task. In 
the successive generations of Daniel McCarty's descend- 
ants, their names are associated constantly with those 
of other Southern families of caste and distinction, and 
in accounts of eighteenth century social functions and 
in the traditions of some of the leading families of the 
State, the McCarty name occurs frequently. The popu- 
lar southern sport of fox-hunting, which was in full 
swing in Virginia for years before the Civil War, seems 
to have had its fascinations for the McCartys, and in 
many an exciting chase for the fox's brush, when the 
crimson-coated horsemen dashed gaily over the coun- 
try, the Irish blood of the McCartys often asserted it- 
self in these stirring contests. And Washington men- 
tions in his Diary incidents of his following the hounds, 
and, on his return from the day's sport, "dining at 
Colonel Daniel McCarty's." 

Colonel Daniel McCarty of Pope's Creek is mentioned 
among some prominent Virginians who imported English 
thoroughbred horses for racing purposes between 1750 
and 1775, and in the newspapers of the time may be 
seen occasional references to his horses which were en- 


tered at the ''race meets" held at Annapolis and Upper 
Marlborough, Md., and at Fredericksburg, Va.*^ In the 
American Turf Register may be read various memo- 
randa relating to the breeding and pedigrees of horses, 
racing notes, etc., taken from "the race book and cer- 
tificates of Daniel McCarty," and that journal in com- 
menting on the winning of his horses. Volunteer and 
Silverlegs, on October 24th and 25th, 1769, respectively 
at the Annapolis course,*^ said : ' ' Daniel McCarty, Esq., 
of Pope's Creek, Westmoreland County, Va., was an- 
other opulent gentleman of the old school and was a 
distinguished patron of the turf. ' ' ^° Colonel McCarty 
also raced other horses named Cub and Little Driver 
and at the Annapolis races in 1770 he won the Jockey 
Club purse of 100 guineas, run in four mile heats, with 
his horse, Silverlegs. Volunteer was out of Eclipse, re- 
ferred to ^^ as "0 'Kelly 's celebrated race horse that no 
competitor could put to his speed," ^^ and Silverlegs 
was a full brother to Yorrick, "one of the most famous 
horses ever raced in Virginia." In 1789 at the Alex- 
andria course, one of the Cedar Grove McCartys entered 
a horse against George "Washington's Magnolia, but the 
President's horse won the race. 

There is plenty of evidence also that the sturdy char- 
acteristics of the men of the name manifested themselves 
in many other ways with the passing of the years, and 
that the virile Irish blood of this old race made them 
a very independent people and of a class that seldom 
feared to strike out for themselves whenever opportuni- 

48 See also "Racing in Colonial Virginia," in Tirginia Magazine of 
History and Biography, Vol. II. 

49 Reported in the Maryland Gazette of October 26, 1769. 

BO American Turf Register, Vol. Ill, p. 95, and Vol. VI, p. 58. 
51 IbU., Vol. II, p. 19. 

B2 Eclipse was owned by Colonel Patrick O'Kelly, whose stud waa 
at a place called Cannons in England. 

104 THE McCarthys 

ties offered of improving their condition. Thus we find 
them among the frontier people, battling with the primi- 
tive conditions of the time, building up sparsely settled 
localities, laying out the highways, bridging the streams, 
cutting down the virgin forests, fighting the Indians 
and in many other ways paving the way for the march 
of civilization. And, amidst it all, bringing up families, 
many of whose members in turn struck out for new fields 
in the thinly settled Western States. In the early years 
of the last century we can trace these McCartys through 
Illinois, Ohio, Iowa, Missouri, and across the Rockies even 
to the Pacific Coast, and while I have made very little 
effort to get in touch with the descendants of these people 
and learn their story, the fugitive references to the 
McCartys that I have found in local histories of the 
Western States indicate that in general they maintained 
the reputation of the family as pathfinders and pioneers. 
Although the name is not perpetuated in the geogra- 
phy of Virginia, like those of other colonial families, yet 
in other Southern States the name is found to have 
been given to various places; although to none of any 
present-day importance. Such, for instance, as Mc- 
Carthy in Prince George County, Maryland; McCarty 
in Johnson County, Georgia; McCarty in Hamilton 
County, Tennessee ; McCarty in Harris County, Texas ; 
McCarty in Webster County, West Virginia; McCarty 
in Johnson County, Missouri ; McCarty in Garvin County, 
Oklahoma ; McCartys in Carolina County, Maryland ; Mc- 
Cartys in Valencia County, New Mexico; McCarty 's 
Ferry in Choctaw County, Alabama ; McCarthy in Car- 
bon County, Montana, and McCarthy's Crossing in Mc- 
Henry County, Illinois. In far away Alaska a McCarthy 
has left the imprint of his name in the geography of the 


Territory; in Lincoln County, Maine, there is a place 
called McCarty after one of its early settlers, in addition 
to which there are places named McCartyville in Shelby 
County, Ohio, and in Burlington County, New Jersey. 

It will be observed that in many instances of descend- 
ants of the original immigrants, Dennis and Daniel, while 
their names are mentioned herein, I have made no effort 
to trace their careers, and these sketches may be ac- 
cepted as a mere cursory glance at the history of the 
family in Virginia. But, even with the meager details 
furnished, I have no doubt that readers of this book will 
share in my surprise that the historians should have suc- 
ceeded so well in keeping the McCartys out of American 
history. But, although they are practically ignored in 
history, we see in this one family alone evidences of the 
strength and influence of some of the early Irish settlers 
of the South. There is much more that could be said 
about the family, for much that is romantic is found 
in their lives. They gave many handsome women, 
courtly gentlemen and gallant soldiers to the Colony of 
Virginia. Like many of the descendants of the early 
settlers in the Carolinas and Virginia, they became a 
wealthy, proud and independent people. They dis- 
pensed their wealth with prodigality; the sons of the 
third and fourth generation in descent from Dennis of 
old Rappahannock, and Daniel of Westmoreland County 
led the easy lives of country gentlemen, when their 
country did not need their services in the council cham- 
ber or the field ; the daughters were educated and fitted 
to hold place with elegance and dignity in the best 
society in the Colonies, several of them having married 
into leading families of the South. Their progeny are 
to-day scattered all over the land. They held their 

106 THE McCarthys 

heads high, as befitted the descendants of the MacCar- 
thaighs of the old Eugenian race, who were Kings of 
Munster and Princes of Desmond before the coming of 
the despoilers of their fair domains. 




Land records of Maryland in the seventeenth century — Large set- 
tlements of Irish colonists — Numerous land grants called after 
towns and cities in Ireland and by Irish family names — The 
"County of New Ireland" comprised New Connaught, New 
Leinster and New Munster — McCartys as Revolutionary patri- 
ots — Extracts from the Colonial Records of the Carolinas and 
Georgia — James McCarthy an early Schoolmaster in North 
Carolina — How Cornelius McCarthy "surrounded" and cap- 
tured the English soldiers. 

About the same period that the MacCarthys located in 
that section of Virginia south and west of the Potomac, 
several Irish families also settled in the region east of 
the river, namely in Charles and Saint Mary's Counties, 
Maryland, and there is every reason to believe that the 
expatriation of these people from Ireland was coinci- 
dental with and arose from the same cause. The records 
preserved at the office of the Land Commissioner for the 
State of Maryland at Annapolis contain such familiar 
Irish names as O'Dwyer, O'Daly, O'Malley, Reilly, Ho- 
gan, Byrne, Murty, Connery, Connolly, Kelly, Whelan, 
Callaghan, Lynch, Murphy, O'Neill, O 'Bryan, and so 
on, among those who obtained grants of land in Charles 
and Saint Mary's Counties during the last quarter of 
the seventeenth or early in the eighteenth century, and 
since only one family named McCarthy appears in this 
part of Maryland at that period, the indications are that 
all other persons of the name who came to this section 


108 THE McCarthys 

of the country settled in Virginia south and west of the 
Potomac River. 

The records of the Land Commissioner's office for the 
State of Maryland contain data of extraordinary interest 
to students of early American history. These records 
are well preserved, considering their age; they include 
the names of the "Early Settlers, 1633 to 1680" and 
the years of their arrival in the Province, the "Certifi- 
cates and Patents" issued to these settlers covering their 
allotments of land from the Proprietary Government, 
the ancient "Rent Rolls" of the various counties, and 
numerous wills and deeds, some dating back to the ear- 
liest settlements of Maryland. 

It is not generally known that large numbers of Irish 
people settled in Maryland during the last quarter of 
the seventeenth century. Their names are found 
chiefly in the land and probate records of Cecil, Har- 
ford, Talbot, Ann Arundel and Baltimore Counties, and 
as early as 1684 part of Cecil and Harford Counties 
was named, in a Proclamation issued by Lord Baltimore, 
the ' ' County of New Ireland, ' ' ^ which territory was 
divided into three parts named New Connaught, New 
Leinster and New Munster. New Connaught was a 
manor of eighty thousand acres established in the year 
1680 by George Talbot of Castle Rooney, County Ros- 
common, Ireland, who was Surveyor-General of Mary- 
land ; New Leinster was named by Bryan 'Daly from 
Wicklow and New Munster by Edward O'Dwyer from 
Tipperary in 1683. The number of land grants patented 
in the names of Irish counties, towns and baronies and 
by Irish family names is astonishingly large, and one 
naturally wonders why there is no mention of them in 
early Maryland history ! 

1 Council Journals of Maryland, April 4, 1684. 


It was tlie custom in those days to have a patent 
for a tract of land recorded under a name selected by 
the patentee, and I have found in the seventeenth cen- 
tury records at Annapolis land grants named Dublin, 
Cork, Donegal, Limerick, Galway, Kerry, Kilkenny, 
Clare, Carlow, Tipperary, Wexford, Derry, Kinsale, 
Waterford, Clonmel, Letterkenny, Belfast, Tralee, An- 
trim, Killarney, and by other Irish place-names, in addi- 
tion to which there were numerous land grants called 
after the surnames of the patentees! The name first 
given to the tract of land now occupied by the City of 
Baltimore was "Ely 'Carroll," after a Barony of the 
name in King's and Tipperary Counties, Ireland, owned 
by the 'Carroll family, and Baltimore comes from a 
Barony of the name in County Longford. 

As to the McCarthys in colonial Marjdand, it cannot 
be said that as much trace can be found of people of 
this name as in the adjoining Province of Virginia, and 
I am satisfied that comparatively few families of the 
name came to Maryland in colonial days. However, the 
name, with its several variations, appears 35 times in the 
muster rolls of the Maryland Militia and the regiments 
of the Continental Line^ and in some cases the records 
show where the different units were mustered in ; and 
according to these there were McCarthys in Frederick, 
Baltimore, Dorchester, Talbot, Queen Anne's, Kent, 
Cecil and Harford Counties of Maryland at the time 
of the Revolution. 

The earliest mention of the name in Maryland records 
in under date of October 21, 1666. In the ''Records 
of Certificates and Patents"^ there is an entry to the 
effect that Hugh O'Neale received a warrant for four 
hundred acres of land ' ' for transporting himself, Mary, 

2 Lib. XI, fol. 104, Land Commissioner's office, Annapolis, Md. 

110 THE McCarthys 

his wife, his children, Daniel, Charles and Joy O'Neale, 
Peggy 'Moore and Jane McCartie to this Province." 
The date of the warrant was October 7, 1667, and while 
the location of the tract is not stated, yet since it is 
shown that Hugh 'Neale lived at Patuxent, Maryland, 
in all likelihood it was to this place that he brought 
the two Irish girls with his family, O'Neale was a 
person of some standing in Maryland at this time and 
was one of Lord Baltimore's active agents in the settle- 
ment and development of the Province. Hugh O'Neill, 
who received a warrant for lands in Maryland in 1659, 
is assumed to have been the same, and on January 20, 
1667, ''Captain Hugh O'Neill of Charles County" was 
granted a patent for four hundred acres of land "for 
transporting eight persons to the Province." He had 
lived at Newtown, Long Island, in the Province of New 
York, before coming to Maryland, and after the death of 
his wife in 1666, he married the widow of Adriaen van 
der Donck, the owner of the "Youncker's Plantation," 
now comprising the City of Yonkers, N. Y., and Van 
der Donck 's estate was "confirmed by Royal Patent in 
1666," on Mrs. O'Neale.^ 

Among the "Early Settlers, 1633 to 1680," who are 
recorded in several large Libers under that title at the 
office of the Land Commissioner for the State of Mary- 
land, I find the following: 

"Darby Maearty, transported 1667" 

"Katherine Carty, transported 1671" 

"Daniel Mackeharty, transported 1674" 

"Moses Maecarty, immigrated 1675" 

"Ellen Carthey, transported 1678" 

"William Carthey transported 1678" 

s See address on Adriaen van der Donck, delivered before the West- 
Chester County, N. Y., Historical Society, by T. Astley Atkins; Yonkers, 


"Owen Carty, transported 1678" 

"Dennis Carty, transported 1678" 

These are exactly as the entries appear in the record, 
and there seems to be no further information concerning 
these people obtainable. What part of Maryland they 
were brought to, or what their fortunes were in the 
new country, there is no way whatever of ascertaining, 
although it is quite clear they were of the ''redemp- 
tioner" class and were indentured as ''servants" to 
Maryland or Virginia planters until such time as their 
terms of service, representing the cost of the passage, 
had expired. At that time it was the custom to grant 
each male servant fifty acres of land on the expiration 
of his term of service, unless he chose to remain in the 
employ of his "Master." In the case of Moses Mac- 
carty, it will be noted that he "immigrated," while the 
others were "transported." That means that Moses 
came over voluntarily and was able to pay his own way. 

From the probate records of Maryland we learn that 
"John Macardye" was one of the legatees under the 
will of Jeremiah Sullivan of Talbot County, and that 
Sullivan's plantation was patented in the name of 
"Kingsale." The will was executed on February 24, 
1673, and was admitted to probate on April 7, 1676.* 
John Mackart's will dated January 11, 1675, was pro- 
bated on April 17, 1676,^ and Timothy McCarty signed 
as a witness to the will of John Edmundson of Tred- 
haven Creek, Talbot County, on February 13, 1686.^ 

"Patrick MackArtee" was named as executor and 
sole legatee under the will of Ann Browne of Charles 
County, dated January 17, 1697; probated March 5, 

4 Probable records, Annapolis, Md., Liber V, fol. 7. 
6 Ibid., Liber V, fol. 69. 
9 Ibid., Lib. IV, fol. 284. 

112 THE McCarthys 

1697/ Patrick MaekArtee's own will is recorded in 
will book number fourteen, and shows the date as of 
October 5, 1716, and the date it was admitted to probate 
as of March 26, 1717. Curiously enough, his name 
is written in the Annapolis records of wills, "Patrick 
Mackette. ' ' He gave his dwelling plantation to his sons, 
Patrick, Edward and James MackArtee, personalty to 
his "godson and grandson Patrick Mackette," and he 
appointed his wife, Rosamond, the executrix and resi- 
duary legatee of his estate. As an indication of the 
result of the misspelling of names in the colonial records, 
it is found that the descendants of "Patrick Mack 
Artec" became Mackatees and MacAtees, the reason for 
that, doubtless, being that the name was so recorded. 
Patrick's wife, Rosamond, made her will on March 3, 
1716. Charles Mccarty witnessed the will of George 
Prouse of Dorchester County on January 23, 1696, pro- 
bated February 17, 1696.^ John "Marcarty" was a 
witness to the will of Henry Davis of Baltimore County 
on December 12, 1713. Timothy McCartley, whose 
name appears on the land records as McCarthey, wit- 
nessed the will of Jacob Blangey of Kent Island, Queen 
Anne's County, dated March 1, 1716, probated June 1, 
1719 ; ^ and in the will of Henry Jennings, rector of "Wil- 
liam and Mary's Parish in Saint Mary's County, dated 
March 13, 1716, he directed "that the debt due Cap- 
tain Mackartie be paid," and he also mentioned William 
and Terrence Sweeney among the legatees.^" Who this 
"Captain Mackartie" was I am unable to ascertain. 

In Baltimore County the name also appears at an 
early date. In the "Rent Roll of Baltimore County" ^^ 

7 Probable Records, Lib. VII, fol. 377. 
SIbid., Lib. VII, p. 271. 
9IbU., Lib. XV, p. 143. 

10 Ibid., Lib. XIV, p. 302. 

11 Lib. Ill, p. 10. 


there is an entry covering a survey on September 8, 1683, 
of a tract of land patented by Robert James in the name 
of ''Robin Hood's Forest," and the description in the 
survey warrant said the land was "part in possession 
of Samuel McCarty." The Will of Daniel "Mecart" 
was recorded in the office of the Register of Wills for 
Cecil County ^^ in the year 1702. Dennis MacCartie 
of Baltimore is referred to as "an indigent person" 
and was "imprisoned for debt" in Ann Arundel County, 
Md., but according to the "Minutes of the House of 
Delegates," he "escaped from gaol on May 21, 1705." 
Denis MacKartey witnessed the will of William Marratt, 
planter of Dorchester County, on March 5, 1719 ; " John 
' ' Macartes ' ' was a witness to the will of Anthony John- 
son of Baltimore County on March 30, 1718,^* and Tim- 
othy Macarty's name appears on the attestation clause 
of the will of William Watts of Talbot County on April 
17, 1722.1^ In the muster roll of Maryland Colonial 
militia organized in 1746 for an expedition to Canada, 
the names of John and Alexander McCarty appear, with 
the dates of enlistment as June 7 and June 9, 1746, 
respectively. Charles McCartey and John McCartey 
served in the Somerset County militia in 1747 and 
Charles and John McCarty appear on the roster of a 
Talbot County militia company of the year 1748. These 
may have been the same men, however, Somerset and 
Talbot being adjoining Counties. 

The "Rent Roll of Frederick County" ^« at the Land 
Commissioner's office contains an entry of a grant to 
William Maccartie on February 27, 1755, of a tract of 
land known as "Mountain Glade," and the record of 
conveyances indicates that on March 6, 1773, one Henry 

12 At Elkton, Md. 15 Will Book 17, p. 222. 

13 Will Book 15, p. 99. 16 Rent Roll No. 3, fol. 129, 

14 Book 17, p. 81. 

114 THE McCarthys 

Hill purchased the plantation from William McCarty. 
Adam MeCarty is mentioned in a letter from Governor 
Sharpe of Maryland, dated Fort Frederick, June 28, 
1758, as "head of a road building party between Fort 
Cumberland and Town Hill Creek." ^^ "Con" Mc- 
Carty was a resident of Annapolis in 1774. On May 
25th of that year a public meeting was held by the 
people of the town "relative to the action of the British 
in blocking up the harbour of Boston." A protest was 
drawn up "on behalf of the friends of American liberty 
in Annapolis" and among the residents of the town who 
signed the document were "Con" McCarty, Daniel Du- 
lany," Edward Dogan, Thomas McKean and John Hara- 

' ' Thomas McCarty, age 22, Schoolmaster from South- 
wark," appears in a list of "Emigrants from Eng- 
land ' ' ^® who sailed from London * ' for IMaryland ' ' in 
the week, January 9 to January 16, 1774, and "Gilbert 
Carty, age 21, farmer, from Ireland," also appears in 
a similar list of emigrants who sailed from London for 
Maryland during the week, April 10 to April 17, 1775.2" 
James McCarty was a member of the Revolutionary 
Committee of Harford County in 1775 and his name also 
appears in a company of Rangers organized in that 
County in the same year. "Flurrance McCarty, age 
21," is mentioned in Frederick County in 1776 and 
James MeCarty was registered as a voter in that County 
in 1796.2^ Among the numerous Irish names in the 

n Archives of Maryland, Vol. 16. 

18 Daniel Dulany is one of the most lemarkable men mentioned in 
early Maryland history. He was a son of Daniel Delaney, a native of 
Queen's County, Ireland, who emigrated to Maryland about the middle 
of the seventeenth century. 

19 In New England Historic Oenealogical Register, Vols. 62 to 66. 

20 IMd. 

21 Maryland Records compiled hy Dr. Gauig M. Bruipbaiigb. 


records of the Register of Wills for Cecil County, either 
as devisors, executors or legatees are: 

John Carty in 1764, Jeremiah McCarty in 1782, 

Charles Carty in 1767, Mary McCarty in 1782, 

Hannah Carty in 1767, John McCarty in 1782. 

Very early in the eighteenth century people of the 
name begin to appear in North Carolina records, the 
first having been Timothy Maccarty who signed as wit- 
ness to a deed dated January 20, 1712, between Tredle 
Keefe and Robert Patterson,^^ and on October 21, 1712, 
he is mentioned in a deed as the owner of lands in 
Chowan County. As "Tim McCarty" he is recorded as 
appearing in Chowan County court on April 16, 1717, 
with his co-executor, "William Frost, to prove the last 
will and testament of William Smith, and at a session 
of the court held "some time between April and Oc- 
tober, 1718," Timothy McCarty 's own will, dated July 
15, 1718, was "proved by the oath of Arthur Dugall, 
executor. ' ' ^^ 

The next appearance of the name in North Carolina 
records was when "the petition of Darby McCarty" 
was read at a meeting of the House of Assembly on 
February 3, 1735. The purport of the petition was 
"that Darby McCarty be exempted from Public Duty," 
and that the application was granted is seen from an 
entry in the record which contains "an order that the 
C"'^ Certifie to the same. ' ' ^* The reason for the re- 
quest is not stated in the official transcript of the rec- 
ords as published by the Secretary of State, but since 
other similar petitions are recorded wherein the appli- 
cants stated they were serving in the militia in the 

22 Land Kecords of Chowan County, N. C. 

23 Probate Records of Chowan County. 

24 Colonial Becorda of North Carolina, Vol. IV, p. 128. 

116 THE McCarthys 

wars with the Indians, it is probable that Darby McCarty 
claimed exemption as a colonial soldier. His name was 
again recorded on February 15, 1738, when there was 
read before the Assembly ''the petition of Darby Mc- 
Carty on behalf of his son, Dennis McCarty, Praying 
the said Dennis might be exempt from all Publick Duties 
and paying Taxes, "^s it is evident that Dennis Mc- 
Carty was physically unable to perform such "publick 
duties" as may have been required of him, since the 
above-mentioned petition bears a notation in these 
words: "The same granted during such time he shall 
continue infirm." 

On March 21, 1743, "the petition of Darby McCartie, 
praying for one hundred acres of land in Hyde 
County, ' ' 2® was read and approved by the Council of 
North Carolina and on the same day like petitions by 
people named Kearney, McClendon, Kennedy, Carrol, 
Duggin, Lynch and Kelley were also passed upon by the 
Council. On November 19, 1744, Darby McCarty again 
appeared before a Council meeting at New Bern and 
presented a petition praying for 640 acres of land in 
Hyde County, which was granted, and on March 13, 
1746, he secured a further grant of 600 acres in the same 
County, and on this occasion his application was read 
in conjunction with similar petitions from Daniel Sulli- 
van, Daniel Quillen and Bryan Conner. 

George McCarthy is on record as the patentee of 300 
acres of land in Craven County on November 27, 1744,^^^ 
and as George "Maccarthy" he is mentioned in the 
Council Journals under date of December 4, 1744, as 
"C^'"' to the Committee on Claims this Session" and the 
Council ordered £25 to be paid to him for his services 

25 Colonial Records of North Carolina, Vol. IV, p. 390. 

26 Ibid., p. 628. 27 Ibid., p. 711. 


as such.^^ That George McCarthy was active in local 
politics at this time may be assumed from the fact that, 
under "an Act of the General Assembly appointing 
Road Commissioners for the various Districts and Coun- 
ties of North Carolina" — (Chapter 5 of the Laws of 
1745) — he and four others were named "Commissioners 
of the Roads from the Town of New Bern to the Head 
of Trent River." -'^ Richard McClure was "Clerk to 
the Committee on Public Accounts" and Michael Higgins, 
another Gael, was in the public service in the same year. 

About 1749, we find the North Carolina McCarthys 
dropping the historic prefix from their names; as, for 
example, John Carthey and George Carthey, Junior, 
each of whom received a grant of 400 acres in Craven 
County on April 6, 1749 ; Andrew Carthey, 400 acres 
in Anson County on September 29, 1749 ; and in the 
next year John and George Carthey were awarded 600 
and 800 acres respectively in Anson County.^** In the 
same records where these entries appear may also be 
seen entries covering land grants to people named Mc- 
Gee, Higgins, McKenney, McManus, Cohalan, Lynch, 
McHenry, McDonald, McConnell, Fitzjarrold, O'Neal, 
McGuyre, Gillespie, McDowell, 'Berry and O'Quinn, 
showing that there is no dearth of Irish names in the 
Colonial records of North Carolina. 

In the probate records of Hyde County there is an 
entry showing that the will of Bailey McCarty, dated 
March 5, 1751, was proved on September 3rd of the same 
year, and among the legatees and executors were the 
decedent's brother, Dennis McCarty, his wife, Elenor, 
and Thomas Smith. Dennis McCarty 's will, dated April 
6, 1758, was admitted to probate in the June term of 

28 Council Journals, in Colonial Records of N. C, Vol. IV, p. 751. 

29 State Records of North Carolina, Vol. 23, p. 222. 

30 Colonial Records of North Carolina, Vol. IV, p. 959. 

118 THE McCarthys 

Court of the year 1759.^^ James Carthey was appointed 
"Justice of the Peace for Anson County" at a meeting 
of the Council at New Bern on April 1, 1751,^^ and 
"A True List of the Militia of Craven County as at 
October, 1745, ' ' ^^ contains the name of Michael Mc- 

In the "Minutes of a meeting of the House of As- 
sembly" held on November 29, 1759, the following entry 
appears: "Mr. Harris laid before the House a Cer- 
tificate from the County Court of Granville thereby 
Certifying that Cornelius McCarty, son of David Mc- 
Carty, is a very infirm person and recommending him to 
be exempt from paying Public Taxes. Ordered to be 
exempt accordingly. 

"Matt. Rowan, P. C." 

The signer of this order was Matthew Rowan, Presi- 
dent of the Council and afterwards Governor of the 
Colony, who was a native of Carrickfergus, Ireland, as 
was his predecessor in office, the famous Irish economist, 
Arthur Dobbs. 

An Irishman named James McCarthy was one of the 
early teachers of the youth of New Bern, N. C. In the 
Colonial Records ^* there is a letter from Governor Tryon 
to the Bishop of London, dated New Bern, February 
12, 1768, in which the Governor said: "The bearer 
hereof, Mr. James McCartney, a native of Ireland, waits 
on your Lordship for orders of ordination. I am in- 
duced to be an advocate for him with your Lordship 
in consequence of the warm recommendations I received 
in his behalf from the Speaker of the House of Assembly 

31 Abstracts of Wills in North Carolina Genealogical and Historical 
Register for 1900-1901. 

32 Colonial Records, Vol. IV, p. 1243. 

33 State Records, Vol. 22, p. 322. 

34 Vol. VII. p. 689. 


of this Province, under whose roof he lived for some 
time in the character of tutor to his children. Mr. Mc- 
Cartney was, during his residence in New Bern, em- 
ployed as an Assistant to Mr. Tomlinson who speaks 
handsomely of his diligence in the school and regularity 
of life out of it." That this man's name was McCarthy 
is seen from a reference to him in 1767 as "teacher in 
the Newbem school, ' ' and in the Colonial Records ^^ 
of May 1, 1771, he is referred to as "Revd. Mr. Mc- 
Carty, Chaplain to the Army," and "Revd. Mr. Mc- 
Carty of Granville Parish, Granville County, preached 
to the troops, April 20, 1771." ^^ 

Daniel McCarty is recorded on March 25, 1771, as a 
member of the Tryon County militia,^^ and Florence 
McCarthy appears in the "Poll Book of Wilmington" 
of the year 1780, as certified to by the Sheriff of New 
Hanover County.^^ The name of "Mrs. McCartey" ap- 
pears under date of March 17, 1788, as having been 
' ' killed by Indians in Hawkins County. ' ' Several Revo- 
lutionary soldiers of the name served in the North Caro- 
lina regiments of the militia and of the Continental Line, 
In an "Abstract of the Army Accounts for the North 
Carolina Line settled by the Commissioners at Halifax 
from the 1st of September, 1784, to the 1st of February, 
1785,"^" appear these entries with the amount of pay 
due to each: 

Florence McCarthy, Lieutenant, 
William McCarthy, Sergeant, 
Miles McCarthy, 
Stephen McCarthy, 

36 Vol. VIII, p. 660. 

35 Ibid., Vol. 19, p. 840. 

37 Colonial Records, Vol. 22, p. 429. 
38 /bid., Vol. 15, p. 237. 

39 In Colonial Records, Vol. 17. 
















120 THE McCarthys 

In addition to which there were paid to Timothy Mc- 
Carthy all arrears of pay due to fifty-seven other sol- 
diers, from which I judge him to have been an officer, al- 
though his name does not appear in any of the North 
Carolina muster-rolls that are now available. Florence 
McCarthy is referred to as "Deputy Quarter Master at 
Wilmington" in transactions of the General Assembly 
of December 13, 1785,*<> and "Timothy McKarty of Cas- 
well County" is mentioned in the minutes of a meeting 
of the same body on November 25, 1786.*^ On Novem- 
ber 9, 1789, there is an entry in the minutes of the 
General Assembly reading: "Petition of Daniel Mc- 
Carthey received from the Senate," and the record fur- 
ther states it was "endorsed read and that an allow- 
ance be made to him (Daniel McCarthey) in consequence 
of a wound he received in the late War on board the 
Bellona Brig of War in an engagement with the Mary 
of London, which deprived him of his eyesight." How- 
ever, a Committee of the House recommended "that as 
no provision appears to have been made by Law for 
the maintenance of seamen disabled on board of private 
vessels and as the Bellona at the time of the engagement 
aforesaid was neither in service of this State or the 
United States, the petition was rejected."*- So Daniel 
McCarthey, in his infirmity, was thus deprived of any 
allowance in recognition of his services to his country! 

In the burial records entered in the church register 
of St. Philip's Parish, Charleston, South Carolina, there 
appears an entry reading : ' ' Thomas Macarty, July 23, 
1732"; among the marriages is that of "William Mac- 
Kartey and Ann Dennis" on February 19, 1740, and 
"Sarah McCarty, daughter of William and Mary Anne 

40 State Records; Vol. 20, p. 57. 

41 Ibid., Vol. 18, p. 251. 

42 ibid.. Vol. 21, p. 216. 


McCarty," was baptized in that church on November 
27, 1741. Michael McKarty and Jane McKarty signed 
the parish register of the Church of St. James, Santee, 
S. C, on June 9, 1759, as witnesses to the marriage of 
Nicholas Bryan and Mary Williams.*^ At that time the 
church was near Echaw Creek, but in 1768 it was re- 
moved to a little place known as Wambaw Bridge in 
Berkeley County, a short distance from Williamsburg. 
It was erected for a colony of French Huguenots who 
first settled the district, but between 1730 and 1740 num- 
bers of Irish people began to locate there and formed 
important settlements, and while the majority of the 
names in the parish register are French, there are also 
many Celtic names. Among them are noted such names 
as Callahan, Connor, Cockran, Dealey, Dayley, Egan, 
Fogartie, Logan, McCormick, MackDowell, Roche and 
Sullivan, besides the McKartys. These settlements are 
mentioned by the historians, Lossing ** and Ramsay.*'' 
Lossing, in referring to this district at the time of the 
Revolution, calls it "a hotbed of rebellion," and it is 
known to have furnished a large number of recruits to 
the brigades of Marion and Sumter. Dennis and Alex- 
ander McCarty of the Third Regiment, South Carolina 
Line, and Jeremiah and Mathias McCarty of the First 
Regiment, Provincial troops of South Carolina, enlisted 
from the Irish settlements in Georgetown County, which 
is divided from Berkeley County by the Santee River. 

The Journals of the Continental Congress show that 
"A Memorial of James Pyne, Captain, and Charles 
McCarthy, Lieutenant," was read before that body on 

43 Parish Register of St. James, Santee, kept by Rev. Samuel Fenner 
Warren, published in South Carolina Historical and Genealogical Mas/a- 
zine. Vol. 15. 

44 Field Book of the Revolution. 

45 History of the American Revolution; also History of South Carolina. 

122 THE McCarthys 

July 22, 1780.^' The document was dated July 18, 
1780, and was an application for appointment as officers 
of the Continental Navy, but it is not clear that either 
was appointed and there is an entry in the Journals on 
October 25, 1780, stating that McCarthy was then "en- 
gaged in private service. ' ' On August 22, 1780, a '' Pe- 
tition of Charles McCarthy" was read,*^ and at a meet- 
ing of Congress held on September 28, 1780, it was 
"Ordered that a warrant issue on the Treasurer in fa- 
vour of Charles McCarthj^, for twenty thousand one 
hundred and sixty dollars, in full payment of the prin- 
cipal and interest of a set of exchange drawn by Major 
General Lincoln on the President of Congress for twenty 
thousand dollars, for which sum of twenty thousand 
dollars the said Major General Lincoln is to be account- 
able."*® Who this Charles McCarthy was, I am un- 
able to determine, but, since his name is coupled with 
that of Captain Pyne, who was from South Carolina, 
it is probable that he also was from that Province. 

The earliest mention of people of this name in the 
records of the Colony of Georgia is under date of April 
4, 1757, when Cornelius McCarthy and James Wemyss 
appeared at a meeting of the Governor and Council and 
their proposition "to repair the lighthouse on Tybee 
Island," at the mouth of the Savannah River, was ac- 
cepted.*^ McCarthy was a carpenter and builder at 
Savannah. Fourteen years later, or on January 25, 
1771, a long "Memorial of Cornelius McCarthy" was 
read at a meeting of the Governor and Council of 
Georgia in relation to the building of a new lighthouse. 

46 The Memorial is in the Papers of the Continental Congress ; Docu- 
ment No. 41, VIII, fol. 132. 

47 Ibid., Document No. 42, V, fol. 209. 

<s Journals of the Continental Congress; Vol. 18, pp. 873—874. 
49 Colonial Records of Georgia, Vol. VII, p. 507. 


By a then recent Act of the Assembly a sum of £3000 
was appropriated for the purpose, and in his "Memo- 
rial" McCarthy said that since it was he who built the 
old lighthouse, he knew "it would stand repairs for 
many years" and he offered "to put it in a complete 
state of repair for £600. "^'^ 

Cornelius McCarthy seems to have been a substantial 
and useful citizen of the town of Savannah, and is on 
record as the recipient of several grants of land. On 
April 5, 1757, he received a grant of a lot in the town 
of Hardwicke ; " on September 4, 1759, he petitioned 
"for a tract of 500 acres of land on the Great Ogechee 
River whereon to erect a saw mill," and on November 
6th following he stated that he was "in want of some 
pine-barren land for sawing timber for building," and 
asked for "200 acres at the head of land granted to 
Patrick Brown near Augusta's swamp." Both grants 
were allowed by the Council.^^ On December 4, 1759, 
the Governor signed a grant in his favor for lots in 
Hardwicke and Savannah,^^ and on December 4, 1764, 
he received a grant of "350 acres in Christ Church 

As a Revolutionary soldier, Cornelius McCarthy had 
an interesting career. It was he who built "the first 
County jail in Chatham County," Ga., and by a strange 
turn of fate, he himself was the first person to be in- 
carcerated in the jail, having been arrested on a charge 
brought against him at the instance of the Royal Gover- 
nor of Georgia for trying to induce citizens of Savannah 
to join a Revolutionary company which had been form- 

50 Colonial Records of Georgia, Vol. IX, pp. 231-233. 

51 Ibid., Vol. IV, p. 523. 

02 Ibid., Vol. VIII, pp. 112-179. 
53 Ibid., Vol. IX, p. 212. 
Bilbid., Vol. IX, p. 258. 

124 THE McCarthys 

ing across the river in South Carolina! As a soldier, 
his name first appears on the roll of Captain John Jen- 
kins' Company of South Carolina volunteer militia 
raised in June, 1775, but in October following Cornelius 
McCartey, who probably was the same man, is listed 
on the roll of Captain Darius Dalton's company of 
militia raised in Prince William Parish, S. C. How- 
ever, when the Second South Carolina regiment of the 
Line was organized McCarthy joined it and became a 
sergeant, and during the war, although no longer a 
young man, he performed several hazardous enterprises 
as a scout for General Francis Marion. An incident is 
related of him, which, while amusing, illustrates the 
resourcefulness of this Irish soldier. 

There was a time when Marion was in a very bad way 
for ammunition and supplies. The English army had 
over-run the Carolinas, and it was at that time that 
Marion was compelled to take to the swamps and the 
woods. He heard that General Nathaniel Greene was 
marching southward through Virginia to take the Eng- 
lish in the rear, and so he made up his mind to try and 
effect a juncture with Greene. The man whom he se- 
lected to make the hazardous trip was Sergeant Mc- 
Carthy. He performed this service in good shape, and 
one hot August day the Sergeant was returning alone 
through the woods, very near where he thought the 
camp of Marion ought to be, when all at once he heard 
voices. With the usual caution of a scout, he crept 
up one tree, and then another, and another, until at last 
he discovered in a clearing in the forest a number of 
men lying around with their coats off, and evidently 
in perfect safety, for the English had possession of the 
country at the time. They were partaking of their 
noonday meal. At the edge of the clearing, where it 


sloped down to where the soldiers were lying, their arms 
were stacked, and without a sentry. McCarthy dis- 
covered they were English soldiers. There were twenty- 
one of them in all — twenty men in charge of an Ensign. 
He made up his mind that he needed those arms. So 
he crept along until he got to where the muskets were 
stacked, and after several trips took them all back into 
the woods and buried them in a gully. Then he marched 
boldly out into the clearing, blew a sharp whistle and 
shouted at the top of his voice, "Surround them! sur- 
round them!" Immediately the English soldiers took 
alarm, and started to run toward where their rifles had 
been, but McCarthy came forward with his rifle at rest 
and addressing the officer, said, "Now, prudence is the 
better part of valor. The woods here are filled with 
men. You are completely at our mercy. The men of 
my command have taken your rifles away. The best 
thing you can do is to take your men, and do it quick, 
and march in that direction, ' ' pointing to a path through 
th,e woods. The men looked at the officer sheepishly, and 
the officer looked at McCarthy, and seeing that he was 
not a man to be trifled with, he determined that "pru- 
dence was the better part of valor," so he gave the com- 
mand to fall in! McCarthy, keeping a safe distance 
behind and threatening to kill the first man who turned 
his head around, marched those twenty-one men into 
the camp of Marion! McCarthy's Captain came out 
of his tent and when he saw all the English soldiers, 
he could not imagine what it meant. He thought at 
first they were deserters. But, all at once he saw Mc- 
Carthy, and then he understood the situation. He broke 
into a fit of laughter, and said : "In the name of God, 
Sergeant, how did you do it?" McCarthy was a good 
soldier, and so he came to the salute and in a rich Irish 

126 THE McCarthys 

accent, said, "Arrah, Captain, and sure that same was 
aisy ! Sure, I surrounded them ! ' ' 

Of another Revolutionary soldier of Savannah, named 
Ebenezer McCarty, a Georgia historian ^^ relates the 
following incident: "On the second of August (1775), 
Ebenezer McCarty, charged with enlisting Georgia re- 
cruits for the South Carolina regiments, was, by Chief 
Justice Stokes, committed without bail to the common 
jail of Savannah. A writ of habeas corpus having been 
applied for and denied, the citizens assembled, forced 
the jail and liberated the prisoner. Not content with 
this, they marched through the town with drums beating 
and passed the residences of the Governor and Chief 
Justice." The Governor mentioned this incident in a 
letter to Lord Dartmouth, the English Secretary of 
State, on August 7, 1775, in which he described the ac- 
tions of the people as ''unparalleled insolence" and as 
an illustration of ''the situation to which His Majesty's 
government is reduced in the Province of Georgia." 
And all because of the fearless patriotism of a McCarthy, 
who, in all probability, was a descendant of an "Exile 
from Erin!" 

Among the petitions for grants of land by persons 
named McCarthy, the following are mentioned in the 
Colonial Records of Georgia : 

Petition by Florence McCarthy dated May 3, 1763, set- 
ting forth that he "had been three years in the Province 
from Bermuda, and had no land granted to him and was 
desirous to obtain land for cultivation, having a wife 
and two children ; therefore praying for 200 acres at the 
head of South Newport, ' ' and at a meeting of the Coun- 
cil on April 3, 1764, a grant was signed by the Governor 
in favor of Florence McCarthy for "200 acres in Saint 

55 Charles G. Jonco in History of Georgia, Vol. II, p. 204. 


Andrews Parish. ' ' ^^ Among those to whom ' ' Head 
Rights" were granted by the Governor and Council 
between 1756 and 1759 are recorded Daniel, Florence, 
Charles, Henry and John McCarty. Daniel McCarty's 
petition for a land grant came before the Council in 
December, 1768,*^^ and was allowed, and on the same day 
the petition of Francis Maccartan was also read. On 
November 6, 1770, a third petition on behalf of Daniel 
McCarty was acted upon by the Council, with the re- 
sult that he was allotted ''200 acres in St. Paul's Par- 
ish." ^^ Jacob McCarty applied "for 200 acres of land 
on the Uchee Creek in St. Paul's Parish" on April 30, 
1770, and on March 5, 1771, the Governor signed the 
grant in his favor.^^ On November 5, 1770, a like grant 
was awarded to John McCarty. There are also recorded 
among the land grants in Wilkes County, on file in the 
County Clerk's office at Washington, Ga., two grants in 
favor of Daniel and John McCarty between 1783 and 
1800, in recognition of their services as soldiers of the 
Revolutionary army. Roger McCarthy is mentioned as 
* ' one of the first settlers in Jones County, Ga. ' ' and his 
name also appears on the first Grand Jury summoned 
in that County.^'' 

56 Colonial Records of Georgia, Vol. IX, pp. 54 and 165. 

57 Ibid., Vol. X, p. 691. 
oS Jbid., Vol. XI, p. 180. 

59 Ibid.. Vol. XI, pp. 15 and 303. 

60 Historical Collections of Georgia, by Rev. Geo. White, p. 505 ; New 
York, 1855. 



Chevalier Charles MacCarthy came to New Orleans in 1731 — A 
valiant soldier of France — Governor of the "Illinois Coun- 
try," under the French, 1755 to 1763 — MacCarthys in the 
French Navy in the American Revolution — Three ofiScers 
named McCarty served under Colonel George Rogers Clark in 
the conquest of the Northwest Territory — Colonel M. Mac- 
carty, a leading citizen of New Orleans — Dennis McCarthy of 

It was not from Ireland alone that we find Mac- 
Carthys coming to America, but also from France, that 
historic country which in times past furnished asylum 
to many thousands of the "Exiles from Erin." In the 
earliest established regiments of Irish troops in the 
service of France, namely those of General Justin Mac- 
Carthy (Lord Mountcashel), Colonel Daniel O'Brien 
(Viscount Clare) and Count Arthur Dillon, as well as 
in all subsequent formations of the Irish Brigade down 
to the Revolution under Louis XIV, the MacCarthy 
name appears among the officers. As already stated, 
Mountcashel had the distinction of being the first to 
receive a commission from King Louis as Lieutenant- 
General of France, entitling him to command all the 
Irish troops taken into the French service, and for many 
years after the downfall of James the Second the Irish 
Brigade was maintained and strengthened by fresh re- 
cruits arriving from Ireland. Members of several 
branches of the ancient house of MacCarthy flourished 
in France with the honors of French nobility, includ- 
ing various Chevaliers of St. Louis; not a few of them 



are mentioned among men of literary talent, while others 
of the family won distinction in the military and civil 
services of Spain and Austria. 

One of the Irish emigres to France early in the eigh- 
teenth century was Charles MacCarthy, whom we first 
hear of in 1731 at the age of twenty-five, as a Captain 
in the French army, in which year he was sent to 
Louisiana in charge of a detachment of engineers. Ac- 
cording to a biographical account of him in the collec- 
tions of the Illinois Historical Society ^ he was born in 
Ireland in the year 1706, and Bossu, the French traveler 
and historian, also states that he was a native of Ireland,^ 
and it is evident that he was of a good family, since 
official documents relating to French affairs in this coun- 
try refer to him as "Chevalier de Maccarty" and also 
as "Marquis McCarthy." He was also known as "Mac- 
Carthy Mac Taig, " which means literally "MacCarthy, 
the son of Taig or Thaddeus. ' ' For many years he was 
stationed at New Orleans where he rose to the rank 
of Major, and from a number of authoritative sources 
we learn that he was an important colonial official and 
one who wielded great power during the period that he 
represented the French government in this country. 

M. Nicolas Bossu, in the celebrated account of his 
travels along the Mississippi River to what is now the 
State of Illinois, relates that the expedition set out from 
New Orleans in six boats on the 20th of August, 1751, 
and that "M. Macarty, who is with us, has been ap- 
pointed Commandant of the detachment by the Court. ' ' ^ 
Bossu states they arrived at their destination, old Fort 

iVol. I, p. 532. 

2 A gentleman of the name in Washington, D. C, who made a study 
of his career, informs me that he found a record stating that Chevalier 
MacCarthy was a native of Cork. 

SBossu's Travels, Vol. I, pp. 22-23. 

130 THE McCarthys 

Chartres, on the 28th of March, 1752, and from that 
time until 1760 Chevalier MacCarthy was in command 
at Fort Chartres and of all the French troops in the 
''Illinois Country," and until 1763 he was Governor 
of Illinois. De Eozier, in his History of the Early 
Settlements of the Mississippi Valley, states that ' ' Cheva- 
lier de McCarthy, Major of Engineers, with troops from 
France, arrived at Fort Chartres in the latter part of 
1751,^ and took charge, bearing instructions owing to 
pending difficulties with England to repair the fort com- 
pletely, and, to protect the territory for France. Mc- 
Carthy erected nearly a new fort, and when finished 
about 1755 the war broke out between France and Eng- 
land. "^ 

Edward Gr. Mason, in "Old Fort Chartres," also says 
that ''Chevalier de MaKarty arrived from France with 
a few companies of French troops in the autumn of 
1751 under orders to rebuild the citadel of the Illinois 
Country," but that is obviously an error, since Mac- 
Carthy had been commandant at New Orleans for sev- 
eral years prior to that time. "Other detachments fol- 
lowed, ' ' he says, ' ' until nearly a full regiment of French 
Grenadiers answered the roll-call at Fort Chartres. 
They toiled busily to transform it from a fortress of 
wood to one of stone under the skillful guidance of 
the trained officer, whose Irish blood as well as his French 
commission made hostile preparations against Great Bri- 
tain a labor of love to him. " ® 

4 The date named by Bossu, March 28, 1752, probably is the more 
correct, Bince he accompanied the expedition. 

5 History of the Early Settlements of the Mississippi Valley, by Firmin 
de Rozier, p. 38; St. Louis, Mo., 1890. 

6 Illinois in the Eighteenth Century, by Edward Q. Mason, pp. 23—48. 
References to Chevalier MacCarthy may also be found in Franjois-Zavier 
Martin's History of Louisiana; Vol. I, p. 321; New Orleans, 1827. Also 
in John W. Monette's History of the Discovery and Settlement of tha 
Valley of the Mississippi, Vol. I, p. 296; New York, 1846. 


In official correspondence concerning the French- 
English war MacCarthy is referred to frequently by both 
sides and these documents indicate clearly that the 
French Government depended much upon him for the 
maintenance of the territory, and that Fort Chartres, 
which he made his headquarters, was the most important 
post in its system of defenses. This fort was situated 
on the Mississippi River on the line of the French fron- 
tier at Old Kaskaskia, a short distance above the junc- 
tion of the Kaskaskia and Mississippi Rivers in what 
is now Randolph County, Illinois. Captain Philip Pitt- 
man, who visited it in 1766, refers to it in his History 
of the European Settlements on the Mississippi^^ as 
"the best built fort in North America," and Joseph 
Wallace ^ describes Fort Chartres as " a huge structure 
of masonry, an object of wonder and curiosity to all who 
ever beheld it; it was reared at an estimated cost of 
over five millions of livres, or about one million dollars.® 
It was so nearly completed by the beginning of 1756 that 
it was occupied by the Illinois Commandant and the ar- 
chives of the local government were deposited therein." 

In 1757, when it was reported that the English con- 
templated to descend the Tennessee River for the pur- 
pose of attacking the French posts on the Mississippi, 
MacCarthy sent Lieutenant Aubry to construct a fort 
on the Ohio River which he named Fort Ascension, 
"as a memorial of the day on which the first stone was 
laid," but in history it became known as Fort Massac.^*^ 

7 Pp. 45-46, London, 1770. 

s History of Illinois under t^^ French Rule, pp. 313-314; Cincinnati, 

9 Mason, in Old Fort Chartres, says its cost was "one million crowns." 

10 Illinois Historical Society Collections, Vol. 10. Governor John Rey- 
nolds of niinois, who saw it in 1802, thus refers to it in his Memoirs: 
"It is an object of antiquarian curiosity, the trees, undergrowth and 
brush are mixed and interwoven with the old walls. It presented the 
most striking contrast between a savage wilderness, filled with wild 

132 THE McCarthys 

*'An account of the Services of M. Aubry, Captain of 
Infantry in the army of the King in Louisiana, ' ' ^^ says : 
"M. de Maearty, Commander for the King, then (May 
1, 1757) received certain news that the English who 
had large settlements up the Keraquis River,^^ ^^pg 
preparing to come down to enter the Belle Riviere ^^ 
and from there into the Mississippi with the design of 
corrupting the savages and afterwards taking possession 
of all the points which we occupied on the upper Mis- 
sissippi. To oppose these projects, the success of which 
could only be fatal to the Colony of Louisiana, M. de 
Maearty, Commandant of the Illinois, ordered M. Aubry 
to depart speedily with 150 Frenchmen, 100 savages and 
three pieces of cannon to establish a fort on the Belle 
Riviere as near as possible to the Keraquis River. In 
consequence of these orders, M. Aubry departed the 10th 
of May, and after having travelled over a large extent 
of country without meeting a single Englishman, he 
built a fort conformably to the instructions of M. de 
Maearty in a place which, by its position and elevation, 
put the French in a position to oppose the attacks of 
the enemy more easily." The sites of these old forts 
are still objects of much historic interest, although it is 
probable that few Americans are aware that an Irishman 
was their builder and that he governed this vast terri- 
tory prior to its conquest by the English.^* 

beasts and reptiles, and the remains of one of the largest and strongest 
fortifications on the Continent. Large trees are growing in the houses 
which once contained the elegant and accomplished French officers and 

11 "French Explorations" in Ills. Hist. Soc. Collectiont ; Vol. I, p. 168. 

12 The Tennessee River. 
IS The Ohio River. 

14 It is an interesting historical fact that a countryman of Chevalier 
MacCarthy, Count Alexander O'Reilly, born in Ireland in 1735, became 
Governor of Louisiana under the Spanish in 1769. See Historical Memoirs 
of Louisiana by Benjamin F. French, for very full accounts of Count 


As a result of the protection afforded by the proximity 
of Fort Chartres, numerous villages and settlements 
sprang up on both sides of the Mississippi River; most 
of the people were French Catholics, and here the Jesuit 
missionaries established churches and schools, and under 
the administration of the popular Franco-Irish Governor 
the settlements thrived and the people lived in peace with 
their Indian neighbors. One of the historians of the 
Mississippi Valley, in describing the social conditions 
among the pioneer settlers of this territory, says: ''If 
any differences arose which the parties could not settle, 
they were referred to the arbitration of the priest, or 
in the last resort, to the commandant at Fort Chartres, 
a mighty potentate ruling, in name at least, territories 
vaster than most kingdoms, representing all the power 
and wisdom of the French King and looked up to by 
the simple settlers as the perfection of all human 
strength and judgment. ' ' ^^ 

Fort Duquesne on the Ohio River was also part of 
the French system of defenses, and after the defeat of 
Braddock in 1755 this fort came under the jurisdiction 
of MacCarthy. It was under the immediate command 
of Aubry, but in 1758, when Washington attacked it 
with large reinforcements of British and Colonial troops, 
the garrison surrendered and the fort thenceforward 
became known as Fort Pitt. That Chevalier MacCarthy 
had large forces under him is indicated by the fact that, 
in 1754 when "Captain de Villiers solicited MacCarthy 
to be allowed to go and avenge his brother's death," 
he ascended the Ohio River to attack Fort Necessity, 
and when marching to the assault the Indian outposts 
reported that "Villiers' followers were as numerous as 

15 "Tlie French in Illinois," in Pioneers, Preachers and People of the 
Mississippi Valley, by Rev. William H. Milburn ; p. 138; New York, 1860. 

134 THE McCarthys 

the pigeons in the woods. "^® The French commander 
is referred to variously in Colonial records as *'M, de 
MaKarty, Commandant at the Illinois," ^^ as ''Monsieur 
de MacCarty, Commandant at Fort Chartres," ^^ and in 
the New York Colonial Manuscripts ^^ there are several 
letters between the French colonial officials in 1754 and 
1756 in which he is referred to as ''M. Maccarty" and 
" M. de MacKarty, ' ' one of which is an interesting com- 
munication addressed to "M. de MaKarty" from Mar- 
quis de Vandreuil, Governor-General of New France.^" 
In 1760, MacCarthy was succeeded in the command 
of Fort Chartres by Captain de Villiers, and there- 
after he continued as the head of the civil and military 
government of the territory, invested with powers of 
almost vice-regal character. Under the Treaty of Paris 
in 1763, France surrendered to England all her terri- 
tory in America east of the Mississippi River and two 
years later the British army took possession of Fort 
Chartres. It is a remarkable fact that the British owed 
their capture of the fort to a countryman of MacCarthy. 
Gaine 's New York Gazette and Weekly Mercury of May 
19, 1766, printed the "Resolutions of the House of Rep- 
resentatives of the Freemen of the Province of Penn- 
sylvania," in which they expressed their "approbation 
of the conduct of George Croghan, Esq., Deputy Su- 
perintendent of Indian affairs under the Honourable 
Sir William Johnson, Baronet, who in pursuance of his 
Excellency's Commands (General Gage), by his exten- 
sive Influence and weight with the Natives amidst the 
greatest Difficulties, under the Favour of Divine Provi- 

16 The History of Louisiana, by Francois-Zavier Martin, Vol. I, p. 324. 

17 In Penna. Archives, 2nd ger. Vol. VI, p. 346. 

18 The Ohio Valley in Colonial Dayt, by Berthold Fernow; p. 180, 
Albany, N. Y., 1890. 

19 Vol. X. 

20 Now Canada. ' 


dence, has happily reconciled the Minds of many distant 
Nations of Indians to the British Interest and thereby 
obtained with their Consent a Passage for His Majesty's 
troops to Fort Chartres, which has at length enabled 
them to take possession of that important Fortress in 
the Illinois Country." George Croghan was a native 
of Sligo, Ireland, and he was perhaps one of the most 
noted Irishmen that came to the Colonies; and the fact 
is also of some interest that Sir "William Johnson, the 
Colonial Governor under whose directions he acted in 
this affair, was a native of Smithtown, County Meath, 
Ireland, and was of the ancient Irish family of Mac- 

Instead of returning to France after the war, Mac- 
Cart hy retired to Point Coupee in the lower Mississippi 
Valley, west of the river, which territory still remained 
in the possession of the French. Here he established 
himself as a trader and he seems also to have been placed 
in command of the fort at Point Coupee, since one M. 
de la Parine was appointed to that post in 1764 "to take 
the place of M. de MacCarty."" j^ the Jesuit Re- 
lations there is an account of the banishment of the 
Jesuits from Illinois and Louisiana and of their long 
journey of 450 leagues to New Orleans, written by Rev. 
Francois Philibert Watrin, and published at Paris in 
the year 1764, in which he relates how the travelers were 
entertained at the hacienda of Chevalier MacCarthy at 
Point Coupee. Father Watrin states that when "at 

21 The MacShanes resided within "Tlie Pale," the only territory in 
Ireland fully under English control up to the sixteenth century. Under 
the operation of the Penal Laws, all Irish families resident in this 
territory were compelled "to adopt English surnames" and English customs, 
manners, dress, etc. Some of these families translated their Irish 
names into Avhat tliey meant in English and thus the MacShanes took 
the name, "Johnson," from "Mac," meaning "the son of," and "Shane," 
meaning "John." 

22 Illinois Historical Society Collections; Vol. X, Page 185, 

136 THE McCarthys 

seven or eight leagues from New Orleans, they reached 
the estate of Monsieur de MacCarty, former Lieutenant 
of the King in that City, who, by his kind attentions 
recalled to their remembrance the benevolence he had 
always shown at Illinois, where he had been Major- 
Commandant-General. After they arrived in town he 
gave them several tokens of his friendship, " ^^ 

Chevalier MacCarthy did not long enjoy his retire- 
ment, and in the Journal of D'Ahadie, Director-Gen- 
eral and Civil and Military Commander of the Province 
of Louisiana,^^ there is an account of his death and 
of his burial with military honors at New Orleans, on 
April 20, 1764. "On the twentieth (April) M. de Ma- 
Carty, former Lieutenant, died. I ordered out for his 
funeral a convoy of all the troops of the garrison, about 
eighty men, and a cannon was fired three times when 
the body left the house. Four officers were named to 
carry the poll. Although these honors were not due M. 
de Macarty, I have had them rendered out of considera- 
tion for his family and his memory." In 1764, the 
French Government conferred upon MacCarthy the post- 
humous honor of the Cross of St. Louis, "as a reward 
for his fidelity and services." 

According to the Journal of D'Ahadie, Chevalier 
MacCarthy was a man of family, but I have been unable 
to find any reference to his marriage or to his descend- 
ants. One of the Governors of Louisiana under the 
Spanish from 1785 to 1791, Don Estevan Miro, member 
of a distinguished family of Catalonia, married a lady 
named McCarthy who is referred to by Louisiana his- 
torians as "a de Macarty of a noble Irish family which 

23 Bcmnissement des Jesuites de la, Louisiane, in The Jesuit Relations 
and Allied Documents; Vol. 70, p. 287. 

24 Reproduced in Illinois Historical Society Collections, Vol. X. 


had followed James II to France. ' ' " Gayarre says 
that she was a native of New Orleans, so we may assume 
that Madame Miro was a daug:hter of Chevalier Mac- 
Carthy. Thirty years after his death, on November 29, 
1794, his nephew, Florence MacCarthy, Lieutenant in 
the French navy, presented a petition to the French 
Minister of Marine, in which he said that he was *'the 
son of Callaghan de MacCarthy and of Dame Marianne, 
also by birth a MacCarthy," and stating he had "made 
two successive voyages to America to obtain an equitable 
settlement relative to a small inheritance which has been 
in suspense for thirteen years, which belonged to his 
uncle, a Knight of St. Louis, who died in 1764 after 
forty years service in the French army." There can 
be no doubt that the "Knight of St. Louis" here re- 
ferred to was Chevalier MacCarthy, 

In the early part of the last century there was a 
Colonel A. Maccarty, a prominent citizen of New Or- 
leans, who may have been a descendant of the Chevalier. 
In a famous controversy known in history as "The 
Batture of New Orleans," between the United States 
and Edward Livingston, in which the government main- 
tained the right of the nation to the use of the beaches 
and the bed of the Mississippi River adjacent to New 
Orleans, Thomas Jefferson prepared the brief for the 
government attorneys. The dispute between Livingston 
and the public became very bitter and the former en- 
deavored to maintain his position by force of arms, but 
on various occasions the people gathered and drove off 
Livingston's employes. At length it was agreed that 
the people appoint a representative to present their case 

25 History of Louisiana, by Charles Gayarrg, Vol. Ill, p. 391. Also 
New Orleans, The Place and the People, by Grace King, p. 128, New 
York, 1895. 

138 THE McCarthys 

to the government, and in his brief for counsel Jefferson 
stated that ' ' Colonel MacCarty, by general and repeated 
acclamations, was nominated an agent to bear to the 
President of the United States a statement of their griev- 
ances and that the Governor would recommend the 
agent to the government." ^^ Much of this controversy 
is also related by Gayarre,^^ and from him we obtain 
glimpses of the prominent place in the politics of the 
City of New Orleans held by Colonel Maccarty. He 
was one of ten persons selected by the House of Repre- 
sentatives in session at New Orleans on November 4, 
1805, from whom the President of the United States 
was to form ''a Legislative Council of five for the Ter- 
ritory of Louisiana," and Colonel MacCarty was one 
of the five chosen for that important office. There 
was a Lawrence B. Macarty also in New Orleans, who 
in 1812, was appointed by Governor Claiborne Secretary 
of State for the State of Louisiana. I assume that these 
two were descendants of Chevalier Charles MaeCarthy. 
Several references to Chevalier IMacCarthy describe 
him as "M. de Macarty Mactique,"^^ and in this con- 
nection it is noted that the name of the commandant 
of Le Magnifique, one of the vessels of the French fleet 
which came to our aid in the Revolution, is described as 
"Monsieur Macarty de Mantique," which suggests the 
possibility that the latter was a son of "Macarty de 
Mactique." The name of the commander of Le Mag- 
nifique was Charles MaeCarthy, and in Burke's Ge^ieral 
Armory ^^ the learned Irish heraldist states that he 
was descended from the MaeCarthy Reagh branch of the 

26 The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Vol. 18, pp. 24-25. 

27 History of Louisiana, Vol. IV. 

28 Dernieres Annees de la Louisiane Frangais, Villers du Terrage ; p. 
103. See also Colonial Mobile by Peter J. Hamilton, p. 568; Boston 
and New York, 1910, for interesting references to "Macarty de Mactique." 

29 p. 636. 


family. And, since it is known that Callaghan Mac- 
Carthy, the father of the Lieutenant before referred to, 
was of the MacCarthy Reagh branch, it is clear that the 
naval officer and the former Ffench Governor of Illi- 
nois were closely related. The Captain of Le Magnifique 
is also mentioned by Edward Everett Hale in his Naval 
History of the Bevolution.^'^ Hale says "there exists 
within reach in America the Ms. journals of Maccarty, 
the commander of one vessel of D'Estaing's fleet. He 
was transferred to the America in Portsmouth after the 
loss of the Magnifique in Boston harbor. I have a trans- 
lation of the Journal of the period when he was Cap- 
tain of the Magnifique and while he was superintending 
the completion of the American ships." 

Other MacCarthys who served in the French Navy in 
the war of the Revolution, and who doubtless were 
descendants of Irish exiles to France, were "Monsieur 
MacCarty," Ensign on Le Conquerant; Du Fay de 
Carty, Ensign on Le Magnifique, and Edward Mac- 
Carthy, Lieutenant under the famous Captain John Paul 
Jones ; and among the officers of the army of Rochambeau 
serving in this country was "Monsieur Mac Carty." 
In the John Paul Jones manuscripts at the Library of 
Congress frequent mention is made of Irish military 
and naval officers in the service of France, and of other 
people of Irish birth or blood, who took part in the 
struggle for American liberty. In these papers there 
is a letter to Jones from Chevalier de Fitz-Maurice, a 
Captain in Walsh's Irish regiment of the French army, 
dated Quimber, France, February 5, 1779, recommend- 
ing "M. Eugene MacCarthy," and one month later 
Lieutenant Eugene MacCarthy himself wrote Jones stat- 
ing that he desired "to make a Campaigne . . . under 

so In American Antiquarian Society Proceedings, Vol. V. 

140 THE McCarthys 

command of a Gentleman who has distinguished himself 
by his Superior Talents. " It is evident that Lieutenant 
MacCarthy was appointed to the position he sought, 
and that he served under Captain Jones, for in a letter 
from "Comte de Walsh- S errant, Colonel of the Irish 
Eegiment of Marine Artillery, French army," from 
Paimboeuf, France, on June 14, 1779, the writer said 
that "the reputation of Jones in Walsh's regiment is 
such that (James Gerald) 'Kelly, sub-lieutenant of 
Grenadiers, wishes to join his two comrades (Edward) 
Stack and (Eugene) Mac Carthy, in serving under his 
command, and feels it best that 'Kelly should serve 
against the common foe wherever he wishes. ' ' And since 
a letter to Jones from Stack's father, dated Paimboeuf, 
October 21, 1779, refers to him as serving as "Lieuten- 
ant-Colonel of Marines on the Bon Homme Richard," 
it may be assumed that Lieutenant MacCarthy also 
served in the same ship. 

That there is warrant for this assumption appears 
from another document in the Jones papers, this being 
"a Certificate regarding Commodore Jones" dated Paris, 
April 17, 1785, signed by Eugene Mac Carthy, then a 
Captain in the Regiment de Walsh. This document 
certified that "at the time of the action between the 
Serapis and the Bon Homme Bichard, the latter vessel 
was rendered unseaworthy, that on deciding to abandon 
her, the care incidental to transporting the wounded to 
the Serapis prevented Jones from saving his personal 
effects or those of the crew." A similar certificate 
signed by Captain Edward Stack, dated Paris, April 
19, 1785, is also among the Jones papers. Captain 
MacCarthy was also referred to by Jones in a letter 
dated Paris, July 18, 1785, to George Washington at 
Mount Vernon, sending him "certificates as to candi- 


dacy of Eugene Maccarty for membership in the So- 
ciety of the Cincinnati. " ^^ 

Three officers of the name, who are mentioned in con- 
nection with the fighting in Illinois during the Revolu- 
tionary war, were Captains John McCartey, Richard 
McCarty and Richard McCarthy. The only reference 
to the former that I have been able to find is in the 
Draper Manuseripts,^^ wherein he is mentioned as "Cap- 
tain John McCartey, an officer of the Illinois Bat- 
talion" ^^ ij^ ]^779 Captain Richard McCarty was of 
the Virginia branch of the family and is mentioned in 
a "Roll of Officers and Soldiers who were allotted lands 
in Clark's Grant (Indiana) for services under Colonel 
George Rogers Clark in the reduction of the British 
posts in the Illinois," and on April 22, 1784, he re- 
ceived a grant of four thousand acres of land in Ken- 
tucky for Revolutionary services. Among other soldiers 
to whom land bounty warrants in Kentucky were given ^* 
for Revolutionary services were : 

Charles McCarty, 200 acres; date of warrant, April 22, 

Peter McCarthy, 200 acres; date of warrant, October 21, 

James McCartee, 100 acres; date of warrant, November 8, 

Timothy McCarty, 200 acres; date of warrant, July 11, 

The conquest of the Illinois territory from the Brit- 
ish, one of the most brilliant achievements of the Revo- 

31 Naval Records of the American Revolution, p. 209 ; published by 
Library of Congress, Washington, 1906. 

32 At the Wisconsin Historical Society. 

33 See also the "George Rogers Clark Papers" in Ills. Hist. Soc. 
Collections; Vol. 8, p. 353. 

34 Catalogue of Revolutionary Soldiers and Sailors of the Common- 
wealth of Virginia, to whom Land Bounty Warrants were granted by 
Virginia for Military services in the War for Independence, from official 
records in the State Land Office at Frankfort, Ky. 

142 THE McCarthys 

lution, was carried out by Colonel Clark. His army 
was made up chiefly from the country west of the 
Alleghany mountains, and the names on the muster-rolls 
indicate that a large proportion of them were Irish, 
either by birth or descent. William H. English,^^ author 
of Conquest of the Northwest Territory, says: "had it 
not been for the Irish in Clark's command, the latter 
would never have whipped the British and Indians ; the 
Irish, fresh from persecutions in the old country, were 
very bitter against the English and were of great help 
to Clark. " ^'^ In his own written account of the expedi- 
tion Colonel Clark mentioned among his valued officers 
Captains McCarty, Quirk, Carney and O'Hara, "Cap- 
tain Montgomery, a gallant Irishman," and Lieutenant 
Dalton. According to Judge Lewis Collins, one of the 
historians of Kentucky, Captain Richard McCarty was 
one of the pioneer settlers of Mason County, and it is 
probable that it was in this section that he located his 
grant. It is also stated that in a conflict with a band 
of Indians near the River Raisin in the spring of 1793 
Captain McCarty commanded the Kentuckians, was 
taken prisoner and led into captivity, but was purchased 
from the Indian chief on the restoration of peace. He 
and a Captain Baker are said to have been the only 
captives to escape, the others having all been toma- 

Captain Richard McCarthy is described in documents 
in the Canadian Archives ^^ as a "trader from this post 
(Miehilimakinac), August 15, 1778, to the Illinois." 
The place here mentioned is situated in the northern 
peninsula of Michigan, and is now known as Mackinac. 

35 Mr. English was Democratic Candidate for Vice-President with 
General Winfield Scott Hancock in the campaign of 1880. 

ZQ Journal of the American Irish Historical Society; Vol. 3, pp. 140-142, 
37 Series B, Vol. 96, p. 6. 


In the ''Record Book of Colonel John Todd," the iBrst 
Civil Governor of Illinois, now in the possession of the 
Chicago Historical Society, there appears a "License for 
Trade" permitting ''Richard McCarthy, Gentleman, to 
traffick and merchandise with all the liege Subjects and 
Friends of the United States of America, of what nation 
soever they be, and to erect Factories or Stores at any 
convenient place or places he shall think proper within 
the Commonwealth." This license was given "under 
the hand and seal of Colonel John Todd at Kaskaskia 
on June 5, 1779, in the third year of the Common- 
wealth, "^s 

It appears, however, that Captain McCarthy had been 
a trader in the Northwest Territory as early as 1768 
and he is mentioned frequently in the records of Cahokia, 
Illinois, a place on the Mississippi River above St. Louis, 
famous for its ancient mounds. In the Clark manu- 
scripts now in the Virginia State archives, as well as 
in the "Journal of Major Joseph Bowman" at the Li- 
brary of Congress, Captain McCarthy is mentioned as 
commander of "French volunteers" under Colonel 
Clark, and De Rozier, in his account of the recapture 
of Vincennes from the British, refers to "one company 
of men organized at Cahokia, commanded by the brave 
Chevalier McCarthy." ^^ Another reference to him in 
the records of the expedition reads as follows: "Cap- 
tain Richard McCarty was a trader in the English serv- 
ice up to the time of the capture of Kaskaskia. He 
came from Canada and located at Cahokia. He was 
made commandant at this post in August 1779, but soon 
came into conflict with the civil authorities." 

38 See Illinois in the Eighteenth Century, by Edward G. Mason; 

Chicago, 1876. „. . . . ,r „ i, -o- 

39 History of the Early Settlements of the Mi8s%ssipp% Valley, by i it- 

min de Rozier; p. 13, St. Louis, 1890. 

144 THE McCarthys 

In 1778, he was "Clerk of the Court of the Com- 
mittee of Cahokia, ' ' the local governing body established 
by Colonel Clark, and many of the documents relating to 
the business of the court and the expedition into Illinois, 
all in the French language, are in Captain Richard Mc- 
Carthy's handwriting. One of them is dated October 
29, 1778, and relates to ''the prayer of Dominique 
O'Flanigan" in a cause against a French settler named 
Antoine Harmand. One account of his career in the 
Cahokia records conflicts somewhat with the foregoing. 
It says that "Richard McCarthy came from the Colony 
of Connecticut. He was living in Cahokia before 1776 
and built a mill there on some land he had preempted. 
At the coming of Clark he joined the Illinois Battalion 
and took part in the Vincennes expedition. In the Fall 
of 1779 he was appointed commandant of Fort Bowman 
at Cahokia and made himself very unpopular with the 
inhabitants. ' ' 

While this account says he "came from the Colony 
of Connecticut," there is little doubt of its inaccuracy, 
in view of the fact that the Clark and Bowman journals 
of the war state he was commander of "French Volun- 
teers, ' ' and the further fact that he is styled ' ' Chevalier 
McCarthy" and that he was appointed "Clerk of the 
Court" whose proceedings were conducted largely in 
the French language. In my opinion, he was either an 
Irishman who emigrated to France and thence to the 
French settlements in Canada, or he was a native of 
France. He had an adventurous career as trader and 
soldier, and in the Spring of 1781 we are told "he was 
killed by the Indians while carrying a petition from the 
inhabitants to the Governor of Virginia. ' ' ^° 

40 Cahokia Records, in CoUectiona of the Dlinois Historical Society. 
Some of his adventures are also related in the Draper collection of Clark 


Thomas McCartliy also served under George Rogers 
Clark, and in 1782 his name is found among a number 
of discharged soldiers of the expedition who made a 
settlement on Corn Island in the Ohio River, at the head 
of the falls opposite where the City of Louisville now 
stands.*^ In the early settlement of Lexington, Ken- 
tucky, John. Carty is mentioned. He is said to have 
been born in New Jersey in 1764, emigrated to Kentucky 
shortly after the close of the Revolution and fought 
against the Indians at the battle of Fallen Timber under 
General Anthony Wayne. He is referred to by a local 
historian as ''one of the most respected citizens of Lex- 
ington," and as "the most successful Kentucky merchant 
of his time, a man of remarkable judgment and sagacity, 
generous and popular. ' ' 

Another of the name, Dennis McCarthy, also settled 
in Kentucky some time after the close of the Revolu- 
tionary war. Bishop Spalding, in his account of the 
early Catholic missions in Kentucky, in describing the 
journey of two French priests, Fathers Badin and Bar- 
rieres, who were sent to those distant settlements by 
Bishop Carroll, relates that after their appointment to 
the mission in Kentucky they set out from Georgetown, 
D. C, in September, 1793, walking as far as Pittsburg 
and then going down the Ohio in a flat boat, ministering 
on the way to the people of the scattered settlements 
along the river. On their arrival at Lexington they were 
received with open arms by the residents of the little 
town, where, we are told, ' ' they celebrated the first divine 
service held in Kentucky at the house of Dennis Mc- 

Mss; now in the Wisconsin Historical Library. He is there referred 
to as "Major McCarty." 

41 Among McCarthy's companions in this adventure are mentioned ex- 
soldiers named Doyle, Cochran, Caghey, Ryan, Hynes, Purcell, Cunning- 
ham, McCarland, McManus and Sullivan. 

146 THE McCarthys 

Carthy, an Irish Catholic." Father Barrieres pursued 
his journey to New Orleans, but the encouraging recep- 
tion given to the priests by Dennis McCarthy and his 
neighbors, prompted Father Badin to settle down per- 
manently in Lexington, and in the primitive settlements 
clustered here and there in the valleys and foothills of 
the Kentucky mountains he spent twenty years caring 
for the Catholic families who were scattered over a wide 
territory. That many of these were Irish is indicated 
by the large number of old Irish Catholic names that 
appear in the early records of Kentucky. 

The Dennis McCarthy here referred to had been a 
soldier in the Pennsylvania Cavalry under the command 
of Colonel Stephen Moylan, enlisting on February 19, 
1777, and serving to the end of the war, after which he 
continued for some time in Moylan 's employ as a clerk. 
Three McCarthys, Dennis, "William and Daniel, served 
under Moylan in the Fourth Pennsylvania Dragoons 
and their names may be found in the muster-rolls of the 
regiment.*^ Colonel Moylan earned considerable distinc- 
tion as commander of the Fourth Pennsylvania 
Dragoons, better known as " Moylan 's Cavalry," and at 
one period he was private secretary to General "Wash- 
ington. He was a native of the City of Cork, Ireland, 
and was a brother of the Catholic Bishop of that diocese. 
Another western pioneer of the name was John McCarty, 
who lived at the "Byrd Settlement" on Byrd Creek, 
near Cape Girardeau, Missouri, in 1799.^^ 

42 Pennsylvania Archives; 5th Ser., Vol. II. 

43 History of Missouri, by Lewis Houck; Vol. 2, p. 185; Chicago, 1908. 



Early settlers in Bucks County — The Irish "redemptioners" — 
Large immigrations from Ireland of the old Celtic stock — 
McCartys in the Colonial Wars — McCartys as mariners — Cap- 
tain Daniel McCarthy, a noted sea-captain of his time — 
Large number of McCartys recorded as land owners in the 
eighteenth century — Thomas McCarthy served on Washington's 

The present State of Delaware originally was part of 
Pennsylvania and was known as the "Three Lower Coun- 
ties. " In an official document ^ concerning the earliest 
period of the history of this territory the name Mac- 
Carthy appears, in the person of Charlotte, daughter 
of Donogh, Earl of Clan Carthy, who married Lord 
Delawarr after whom the State and the Delaware River 
were named. But, the earliest permanent settler of 
the name in Delaware seems to have been one Daniel 
MacCarthy whose name appears in the records of the 
Colony four years before William Penn entered into his 
famous "League of Amity" with the Delaware Indians 
at Shackamaxon, Pa., in 1682. In the records of the 
Court of New Castle County,^ the name of "Daniel! 
MaKarty," as the plaintiff in an action at law against 
Jeremiah Herrington, is entered under date of December 
3, 1678, and as "Daniel MacKerty" he figured in several 
other suits at law in the same court, and at a session 
of the court on February 4, 1680, "Daniel MaKarty 's 

1 Documents relating to the Colonial History of New York; Vol. XI, 
p. 163; compiled by John Romeyn Broadhead and edited by Edmund B. 

2 Published by the Colonial Society of Pennsylvania. 


148 THE McCarthys 

peticon" for a grant of two hundred acres of land was 
passed upon and approved. A Daniel McCarthy who is 
mentioned in the Pennsylvania Archives ^ under date of 
October 10, 1683, among "persons to whom warrants for 
lands in Kent, New Castle, and Sussex Counties, Dela- 
ware, were issued," doubtless was the ''Daniell Ma- 
Karty" mentioned in the court records. 

In other Delaware records the name is also found, as 
for example, "John McKarty of Black Creek Hundred, 
New Castle County," who made his will on December 
1, 1694, appointing his wife, "Mary McKarta," his exe- 
cutrix and sole beneficiary.* And, that it is evident 
there were other families of the name in New Castle 
County in the eighteenth century is shown by the num- 
bez' of McCarthys whose marriages are recorded in the 
Parish Registers of Holy Trinity Church at Wilmington. 
Elsa MacKarty was married in that church to Dennis 
Mackginley on August 10, 1735 ; Robert McCarthy mar- 
ried Elizabeth Plate in 1744, and Elizabeth McCarty 
became the wife of John Moore in October, 1745. Others 
of the name appear in the marriage records of this 
church down to 1774. 

In "Trent's Philadelphia Business Directory" for the 
year 1703 appear the names of Thomas McCarty and 
"John MacKarty, ye barber." This seems to be the 
earliest date on which people of the name are recorded 
in the present State of Pennsylvania. In the burial 
records of Christ Church, Philadelphia, I find the fol- 
lowing entries: 

"Rebecca MacKarty, wife of Timothy, May 11, 1712." 
"Charles MacKarty, May 18, 1714." 
"Charles McCarty, February 4, 1733." 
"Sarah McCarty, October 2, 1746." 

3 2nd Ser., Vol. VII. 

4 Records of the Register's office at Wilmington, Del. 


Under "Landholders in Philadelphia County, 1734,'" 
one Thomas McCarty is listed as the owner of a tract of 
land in Moorland Manor, and among his neighbors at the 
time were Edward Burke, Richard Reagan, Andrew Mc- 
Cleary, Francis McHenry and Patrick Kelly.* At this 
early period it is evident there was a considerable Irish 
settlement in this part of Pennsylvania, since the land 
records of Philadelphia County refer to places named 
Limerick and Dublin, and even before Philadelphia was 
laid out, part of the land within the City limits was 
known as "Lower Dublin," and the Pennepack River 
which flows through that district was known as ' ' Dublin 
Creek," and in 1698 it was called "Dublin River" in a 
map drawn by Thomas Holme, one of Penn's Commis- 
sioners and Surveyor-General for Pennsylvania/ 

Bucks County seems to have attracted many of the 
Irish immigrants arriving via the Delaware River dur- 
ing the first quarter of the eighteenth century, and in 
the early records of that section of the State their names 
are found in goodly numbers. At a place called Hay- 
cock Run about twelve miles north of Doylestown, the 
County seat of Bucks County, there were a number of 
McCartys, evidently relatives, who came from Ireland 
between the years 1730 and 1737, and some of their de- 
scendants are since mentioned among the conspicuous 
families of the County. The earliest reference to a per- 
son of the name in this region is in the New Jersey Ar- 
chives ^ under date of October 25, 1733, when a marriage 

5 In Publications of the Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania., Vol. I. 

6 Ihid. 

7 Holme was sent to Pennsylvania by William Penn in 1681, charged 
■with the duty of selecting a site for a City. He hadMived in various 
Irish cities and according to a long account of him in Albert Cook 
Myers' celebrated work. Immigration of the Irish Quakers into Penn- 
sylvania, he sailed from Waterford, Ireland, on November 29, 1681. 
He is thought to have been a native of Dublin. 

8 Second Ser., Vol. II. 


license was issued in New Jersey to "Daniel McCarty 
of Bucks County and Olive Titus." The place where 
the license was issued is not stated in the Archives, but 
in all probability it was in Warren County, directly 
across the Delaware River from Bucks. 

By a deed dated March 11, 1737,^ Thomas and Rich- 
ard Penn, for a consideration of £38, 15s. and "a yearly 
rental of one-half penny per acre," conveyed 250 acres 
of land in Nockamixon TQwnship, Bucks County, to Ed- 
ward McCarty, and in describing the boundaries of the 
tract the deed mentions "the lands of John Durham 
and Thomas McCarty," which indicates that the latter 
was already a settler in this place. There is another 
deed on record in Bucks County covering a second tract 
of 250 acres, sold by the Penns to Edward McCarty 
on April 19, 1738,^" and in the same records there is a 
deed dated March 3, 1738, from Thomas and Richard 
Penn to Silas McCarthy for 215 acres in Nockamixon 
Township, and the tax lists show that he and his son, 
Carroll McCarthy, settled on these lands. Silas Mc- 
Carthy is mentioned five times down to 1749 in the Penn- 
sylvanm Archives '^'^ among "Warrantees of Land in 
Bucks County." 

The earliest recorded marriage in Nockamixon Town- 
ship was that of Patrick McCarthy and Catherine Ann 
Sanders on February 14, 1743, and the first burial re- 
corded there was that of "Catherine, wife of Edward 
McCarthy. ' ' One of the oldest tombstones in the burial 
ground of the Catholic Church of Saint John the Baptist 
at Haycock Run bears the following inscription: "Here 
lies the remains of Unity Casey, wife of Nicholas Mc- 

9 Warrantees of Land, in Penna. Archives, 3rd Ser. Vol. 24, p. 145. 

10 Ibid. 

11 Ibid. 


Carty, who departed this life the first day of June, a. d. 
1745, aged about 70 years, R. I. P." 

James McCarty is recorded among "Warrantees of 
lands in Bucks County" under date of April 15, 1746, 
and again on December 31, 1750. Among the settlers 
who came into the Township of Nockamixon in the year 
1748 were "Thomas and Patrick McCarthy, brothers, 
from Ireland, ' ' ^^ who located on Haycock Run on a tract 
of 500 acres, and in course of time the records of grants 
and conveyances of land in the vicinity show that they 
increased their holdings considerably, and some of their 
descendants still occupy a portion of the original tract. 
Nearly every historian of Pennsylvania, and indeed the 
historians of all parts of the Colonies, insist upon say- 
ing that the early emigrations from Ireland comprised 
only the so-called "Scotch-Irish" element, that is to 
say, non-Catholics of original Scotch ancestry from the 
north of Ireland. They have an ulterior purpose that 
is well understood in thus describing these people, but 
the truth gradually is becoming known, not only as to 
the racial origin but as to the religious affiliations of the 
great majority of the early Irish settlers. ^^ It is evi- 
dent that at this early period there were large settle- 
ments of Irish and German Catholics in Bucks County, 
and after the Rev. Father Schneider came there on a 
mission from the Catholic Church of Goshenhoppen, 
Pa., the first permanent Catholic mission was established 
in the house of Edward McCarty at Haycock Run, and 
here Father Schneider celebrated the first Catholic re- 
ligious services in that part of the countrJ^ Subse- 

12 History of Burk/i County, by General Davis. 

13 Readers interested in this subject are referred to my book, A Hidden 
Phase of American History, a work which is the result of twenty years' 
researches in the records of the Colonial and Revolutionary periods. 

152 THE McCarthys 

quently, the mission was conducted in the house of 
Edward's son, Nicholas McCarty. 

There are also records showing that Rev. Mr. Schnei- 
der baptized the children of a number of the Irish set- 
tlers, and among these are recorded the baptism, ''at 
Christian Haug's house at Tinicum," of Nicholas and 
Edward McCarty, sons of the first-mentioned Edward, 
on May 27, 1742. The McCartys recognized early the 
necessity of educating the youth of the district, and it is 
noted that one of the provisions in the will of Nicholas 
McCarty, recorded in the year 1766, was "for the school- 
ing of his children until the youngest was eighteen years 
of age." The family were consistent friends of public 
education and it is related that "the first school in this 
part of the county was erected near Thomas McCarty 's 
dwelling on lands donated by him for that purpose, ' ' ^* 
and it was through the exertions of this family that a 
Catholic parochial school was established at Nockamixon 
about the close of the Revolution. On May 16, 1796, 
John McCarty and Elizabeth, his wife, executed a deed 
conveying to the Rev. John Carroll, Bishop of Baltimore, 
one acre of land in Haycock township, " f or a considera- 
tion of encouraging the worship of God and for the fur- 
ther consideration of the sum of five shillings. " ^^ On 
this land the first Catholic Church edifice in the county 
was erected in the year 1798, and it was also a McCarty 
who later gave the ground for the building of a rectory. 
The church served also as a school and one of its teachers 
in the early part of the last century was Philip 'Con- 
nell, an emigrant from County Longford, Ireland. Most 
of the descendants of the original Bucks County settlers 
adhered consistently to the Catholic faith, and they are 

14 History of Bucks County, by General Davis. 

15 Registry of Deeds, Bucks County; Book 30, fol. 210. 


among the comparatively few American families, de- 
scended from Catholic immigrants of Colonial days, who 
have clung to the faith of their fathers despite the 
vicissitudes through which it has passed. 

Several McCartys from this neighborhood served in 
the Continental army and in the Pennsylvania militia 
during the Revolution, among the first to enlist having 
been Patrick and Thomas McCarty from Haycock Town- 
ship, whose names appear on the rolls of Captain Manus 
Yost's company of the First Regiment of Foot of Bucks 
County Militia, commanded by Colonel John Keller. 
Thomas was then only sixteen years of age and up to the 
time of his death in 1834 he drew a pension from the 
United States government for revolutionary services. 
Patrick left many descendants, and, that they were peo- 
ple of courage and endurance, is seen from the fact 
that nearly all the sons in the family, as soon as they 
came of age, struck out for themselves in the new settle- 
ments which began to spring up here and there in the 
Western States during the early part of the last century, 
and in local histories we find occasional references to 
these McCartys among the farming communities and 
as tradesmen in the pioneer towns of the Middle 

One of Patrick McCarty 's sons, Benjamin, born in 
Bucks County in 1763, by his marriage with Mary Small- 
wood was the father of fourteen children, nine of whom 
married and brought up families, and whose descend- 
ants are now living in various parts of Ohio, Indiana, 
Michigan and Western Pennsylvania. Benjamin is on 
record as acquiring a plot of land in Northampton 
County, Pa., on July 24, 1815,^^ and thirty years later 
he removed to Northumberland County where he received 

16 Warrantees of Land, in Penna. Archives; Vol. 26, p. 131. 

154 THE McCarthys 

a grant of 20 acres of land," but some time there- 
after he removed with his family to the little prairie 
town aptly named Rolling Prairie, in LaPorte County, 
Indiana, where he died in 1828. His son, Andrew, set- 
tled in Michigan and another son, James, at Xenia, Ohio, 
in 1832, at that time a frontier settlement, James is 
described by the historian of Green County, Ohio, as 
"an extensive farmer and a leading and active man in 
County affairs." His son, Charles E. McCarty, was an 
officer of Ohio cavalry in the Civil War. 

Judge William M. McCarty, who was born at Brook- 
ville, Franklin County, Indiana, in 1816, is also thought 
to have been one of Patrick's descendants. He is men- 
tioned as a prominent lawyer at Cincinnati. When the 
call came for troops on the outbreak of the war with 
Mexico, he raised a regiment and became its Lieutenant- 
Colonel and served with it throughout the whole war. 
This regiment was highly complimented for its conduct 
at the battle of Buena Vista. After the war he became 
a State Senator, and was Judge of the United States 
Circuit Court from 1850 to 1855, and in 1861 he was 
chosen United States Senator, but for some reason did 
not obtain his seat. 

In Franklin County, Indiana, history, references are 
also made to Jonathan McCarty, and although he is 
described as "General," I am unable to find a record 
of any military officer of the name. One account says 
"he was born in Tennessee of Irish extraction" and 
another that "he was born in Virginia on August 3, 
1795," and "was brought up on his father's farm near 
the village of Brookville, Franklin County." His 
brother was Clerk of the Court and while assisting in 
the duties of that office he studied law and was elected 

17 Penna. Archives, Vol. 25, p. 258. 


to tlie le^slature from Franklin County. Sometime 
thereafter he removed- to Connersville, Fayette County, 
where he was the first clerk of the courts, serving in 
that capacity until 1828. In 1831 he was elected to 
Congress, serving until 1837. The County historian saj^s 
of him : ' ' He was a man of limited scholastic training, 
but possessed of great natural powers, and was one of 
the most talented men of Indiana and a forceful and 
eloquent speaker." ^^ There is another family of the 
name in Tippecanoe County, Indiana, although it does 
not appear that these were of the same immediate fam- 
ily. The first of the name in that section was William 
McCarty, who, when a very young man, made the long 
journey on horseback from Cape May County, New 
Jersey, to Indiana, where he lived the remainder of his 
life. A local historian refers to him as "one of the 
brave old pioneers of Tippecanoe County." ^^ His son, 
Flavius Josephus McCarty, served in the Fifth Indiana 
Cavalry and had a brave record in the Civil War. 

The genealogy of the Lancaster family of Bucks 
County shows that Thomas McCarthy was married to 
Phebe Lancaster in the year 1765, but there is nothing 
to indicate if he was the same Thomas McCarthy who 
came from Ireland with his brother Patrick in 1748. 
Thomas and Phebe McCarthy removed to Northampton 
County where eighteen children were born to them, and 
about 1790 they removed to Muncy, Pa., where Thomas 
died in the year 1804. The names of seven McCartys 
appear among the "Taxables" at Muncy in the year 
1796. The records of the births of this remarkably 
large family of children are : 

18 Biographical and Genealogical History of Wayne, Fayette, Marion 
and Franklin Counties; Vol. I, p. 82, Chicago, 1918. 

19 Biographical Record of Tippecanoe County, Indiana, p. 379; Lewis 
•Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888. 


THE McCarthys 

Phebe, bom August 2, 1766 

Samuel, * 

' November 8, 1767 

Silas, ' 

' November 3, 1768 

Sarah, * 

' December 19, 1769 

Mary, * 

' December 19, 1769 

John, * 

' December 16, 1771 

John (2nd), ' 

May 6, 1773 

James, ' 

' June 10, 1774 

Jane, * 

' September 18, 1775 

Elizabeth, * 

' September 17, 1776 

Thomas, ' 

March 8, 1778 

Job, * 

' August 10, 1779 

Hannah, * 

' February 22, 1782 

Benjamin, * 

* July 20, 1783 

Martha, ' 

April 24, 1785 

David Lancaster, * 

' December 13, 1787 

Jesse, ' 

' April 10, 1789 

Lydia, * 

' August 16, 1790. 

The descendants of Thomas and Phebe McCarthy now 
reside in widely-separated parts of the country, and 
according to the Lancaster genealogy, sixty-two pages 
of which are occupied by MeCartys, they are in almost 
every State of the Union and, all told, ninety-three 
MeCartys are mentioned in the Lancaster genealogy. 
Another Phebe Lancaster married John Murphy, whose 
record is decidedly interesting. It reads thus : ' ' Bom 
1763 ; died May 21, 1852 ; he was one of the first settlers 
of the town of Locke, Cayuga County, New York, and 
resided on a farm of 200 acres; served his country in 
the Revolutionary war in Captain Matchin's Company 
and in Colonel John Lamb's artillery; was present at 
the siege and surrender of Lord Comwallis at York- 
town and continued with the army until the close of the 
struggle. ' ' ^° 

Usually, the colonial immigrants were classified as 

20 Oenecdogy of the Lancaster Family. 


"passengers," "redemptioners" or "indentured ser- 
vants." The "passengers" were those who were able 
to meet the expenses of the voyage and were otherwise 
equipped to make their own way in the world without 
becoming a charge upon the country, and the "redemp- 
tioners" were those who, being unable to pay their own 
passage, bargained with the masters or owners of vessels 
to dispose of their "time" to the planters or manu- 
facturers, and when they had "redeemed" themselves, 
they were free to go as they chose and work out their 
own destinies. As to the third class, it would be a 
mistake to assume that by "servants" were meant do- 
mestic servants only. In those days all laborers, ar- 
tisans, husbandmen, tradesmen, mechanics, in fact all 
who labored with their hands, were classed as "ser- 
vants," and instances are found where even "manufac- 
turers" and "schoolmasters" were so designated! And 
indeed, it is a sad commentary upon the conditions then 
prevailing that the "time" of some of the Irish immi- 
grant schoolmasters brought no higher price than that 
of the common laborer! The term "servants," there- 
fore, was intended and used in its broadest sense, and 
many of those recorded under this head were among the 
most useful classes that came to the Colonies, for it is 
hardly necessary to say that what the country needed 
most at that time were people inured to toil and who 
were ready to meet the hard tasks that confronted the 
pioneers in a new and undeveloped country. 

"When the servants were illtreated by their masters, 
as was frequently the case, they "ran away" and sought 
new fields, and in the colonial newspapers may be seen 
numerous advertisements for runaway servants offering 
rewards for their apprehension and return. While the 
"runaway servants" were of various nationalities, a 

158 THE McCarthys 

great many of them were Irish. In the advertisements 
complete descriptions were given of their personal ap- 
pearance, and there are many instances where the fact 
that "he writes a good hand," or "he speaks good 
English," was suggested as a means of identifying the 
"runaway." And there are even cases where Irish' 
"servant men" or "servant lads" were described as 
being able to converse in several languages, usually 
English, Gaelic, French or Latin, and sometimes Greek ! 
Notwithstanding the fact that Gaelic was then more 
widely spoken in Ireland than English, and that the 
youth of the country were educated mainly in their 
native tongue, an Irish boy or girl able "to speak good 
English" or "write a good hand" was not a rarity, and 
the fact that such a large number of them came to the 
colonies indicates what an intelligent class Ireland sent 
to America in the formative period of the country's 
history. And let it be recorded also, that the vast ma- 
jority of these, as the names in the newspaper adver- 
tisements clearly indicate, were of the ancient Celtic 
stock, and not the so-called "Scotch-Irish" or "Anglo- 
Irishj" An examination of the newspapers will at 
once verify the truth of this assertion. 

Among those advertised for in the Philadelphia news- 
papers I find several named McCarthy. For example, 
Thomas Martin of Uwchlan, Chester County, Pa., ad- 
vertised in the Pennsylvania Gazette of January 29, 
1751, for "a runaway Irish servant man named James 
McCarthy; a weaver by trade; speaks good English; 
a short, well-set fellow, about 21 years of age." Then 
follows a minute description of James McCarthy's per- 
sonal appearance and an offer of a reward of forty shill- 
ings for his return. The whereabouts of "Florence 
McCarty, a runaway servant-man, belonging to John 


Flannigan of Cecil County, Maryland," was sought 
through an advertisement in the Pennsylvania Gazette 
of September 14, 1752, and "Hugh McCarty, an Irish 
servant lad about 19 years of age," who was "appren- 
ticed to Thomas Thorn of Chesterfield Township, West- 
New- Jersey," from whom he had "run away," was ad- 
vertised for in the Pennsylvania Chronicle of March 
13-20, 1769. 

In the Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biog- 
raphy -^ there is a long list of ' ' Servants and Appren- 
tices Bound and Assigned before James Hamilton, Mayor 
of Philadelphia, 1745," and among these appear the 
names of: 

"Bryan McCarty from Ireland" 
''Catherine Cartliy from Ireland" 
"John McCarthrey from Ireland." 

The list referred to is one of the most striking illus- 
trations of the racial character of the immigrants enter- 
ing the country through the port of Philadelphia at 
this or any other period of our history. It contains 
the names of 866 persons in all, divided according to 
countries of nativity as follows: 

From Ireland 569 

From Holland 42 

From various parts of America 31 

From England 3 

From Scotland 6 

From East Indies 3 

Persons whose native countries are not stated: 

Bearing non-Irish names 149 

Bearing Irish names 63 

Total 866 

Proportion of Irish 73% 

21 Vols. 30 to 32. 

160 THE McCarthys 

The full names of all of these people are given and 
if the advocates of the "Scotch-Irish" theory were to 
examine the list, it would prove something of a surprise 
to note the racial origin of the 'immigrants from Ire- 
land, ' ' as indicated by their names ! 

A number of McCarthys enlisted in a Pennsylvania 
regiment organized for service in the Colonial wars. In 
1746 Governor Thomas of Pennsylvania ordered that 
400 men be raised for an expedition to Canada, and of 
327 men recruited in the three "Lower Counties" (now 
the State of Delaware) in July and August of that year, 
55 per cent, were recorded as "natives of Ireland." 
The following summary showing the countries of nativity 
of these men illustrates the eagerness of the Irish settlers 
to fight for their adopted country, and when we consider 
the fact, which the record shows, that all were in the 
prime of life and that they were occupied mainly in 
manual toil, it may be assumed that they were excellent 
fighting men and, doubtless, rendered good service to the 

Bom in Ireland 180 

Bom in America 47 

Bom in England 39 

Born in Germany 27 

Born in Scotland H 

Bom in West Indies 2 

Born in Wales, Denmark and Sweden, one each 3 

Countries of birth — Not stated IS 

Total 327 

Among the entries which appear in the rosters of this 
regiment are the following, in the company commanded 
by Captain William Trent : " 

22 Pennsylvania Archives, 2nd Ser. Vol. II, and 5tli Ser. Vol. I. 


''John McCarty, private, age 24, born in Ireland, enlisted 
June 30, 1746" 

"Cornelius MeCarty, private, age 26, born in Ireland, en- 
listed July 10, 1746" 

"Bartholomew MeCarty, private, age 22, bom in Ireland, 
enlisted August 7, 1746." 

Captain Trent's company is mentioned by Thackeray 
in his famous story, The Virginians. Its strength was 
115 men, of whom fifty-two are recorded as "born in 
Ireland," in addition to which there are five other dis- 
tinctive Celtic names, making an Irish proportion of 
fifty per cent. In Captain John Shannon's company, 
organized at the same time as Captain Trent 's company, 
there were 100 men of whom fifty-one were "born in 
Ireland," one of whom was "Thomas Carty, age 30, 
tailor, enlisted July 5, 1746," and among the enlisted 
men in Captain John Deimer's company was "Jeremiah 
McCartey, age 25, bom in Ireland, enlisted July 17, 
1746."- In Captain John Haslet's company in the Pro- 
vincial service of Pennsylvania, organized May 21, 1758, 
Jeremiah McCarty is listed, and of the fifty-two men 
comprising the company thirty-two are down as "born 
in Ireland," or an Irish proportion of sixty-one per cent. 

A large number of Irishmen were in command of 
American merchant vessels during the Colonial and 
Revolutionary periods, and in American annals we read 
numerous references to Irishmen who were trained to 
the sea, and the journals and other records of the time 
bear ample testimony to the fact that Irish captains and 
sailors served on American privateers sailing out of 
every port on the Atlantic coast. These "rovers of 
the sea" rivalled in every respect the native American 
seamen. They were ready for every individual hazard, 
whether engaged in peaceful commerce or in raiding 

162 THE McCarthys 

enemy shipping in times of war, and one is struck with 
surprise at the apparently endless roll of British ships 
which, during the Revolutionary war, were brought into 
American ports with rich cargoes of food, clothing, arms 
and ammunition captured by those clever and adventure- 
some American privateersmen. Much of the naval his- 
tory of the Revolution centers round the privateersmen 
and it seems a great pity that no one of our well-known 
writers of "sea-stories" has taken up this subject se- 
riously, for it deserves a distinct place in American 
history. The Irish mariners of the wars of Independ- 
ence have left a record in America that is well worthy 
of preservation and it will stand as an imperishable 
monument to the gallant part they played in the defense 
of their adopted country.^^ 

Among those Irish sea captains we find a number of 
McCarthys, sailing principally out of Boston, New Lon- 
don, New York and Philadelphia. In December 1740, 
the arrival at Philadelphia of "Captain Richard Mc- 
Carthy in the Diana, with a number of people from 
Dublin," was announced in the Philadelphia news- 
papers. In Benjamin Franklin's Pennsylvania Gazette 
of October 19, 1749, among vessels "entered inwards" 
at the Philadelphia Custom House, there is an entry 
showing that "the Brig'* Dove, Captain Daniel Mc- 
Carty, " had arrived from London during the previous 
week, and in the same issue of the paper there are five 
advertisements announcing that certain goods, "just 
imported by Captain McCartie from London in the 
Dove," were for sale at the stores of William and David 
Mcllvaine, James Trotter, Andrew Elliot, Henry Har- 
rison and Robert Moore, all of Philadelphia. Some of 

23 See article on this subject in Journal of the American Irish Historical 
Society, Vol. 17. 


these advertisements were repeated in various issues of 
the Gazette, and in the Gazette of November 2nd, Charles 
and Alexander Stedman, Samuel Burge, John Wallace 
and Alexander Hamilton, all Philadelphia merchants, 
also advertised for sale numerous articles "just im- 
ported in the Dove by Captain Daniel Macartie," and 
some of these annoimcements were continued in the paper 
all through the months of November and December, 1749. 

From these advertisements we obtain an idea of the 
extent and importance of the cargo of the Dove, since 
the total number of lines in all nine advertisements 
was 270, and Robert Moore's announcement alone con- 
tained sixty-two lines of small type to describe the goods 
imported by Captain McCarthy, "for sale at his store 
in Front Street, Philadelphia." Having examined the 
newspapers published in the cities on the Atlantic sea- 
board during the colonial period, I am in a position to 
say that the cargo of the Dove on this voyage was one 
of the most important imported to this country, and 
these advertisements indicate that the vessel commanded 
by Captain McCarthy must have been one of the larg- 
est then engaged in transatlantic trade. Under the head 
of "Vessels cleared for departure" from Philadelphia, 
the Gazette of November 30, 1749, announced "the Brig'* 
Dove, Captain Daniel McCarthy, for Cork, Ireland." 

The next appearance of his name in the public prints 
was when the Dove arrived in the Delaware River on 
July 30, 1750, on her return voyage from Cork, and the 
Pennsylvania Gazette of August 2nd printed the follow- 
ing interesting advertisement: "Just arrived from Ire- 
land in the Brigantine Dove, Captain Daniel McCarthy, 
a parcel of likely servants in good health, among whom 
are husbandmen and tradesmen of sundry sorts, likewise 
some women, who are to be disposed of by James Pem- 

164 THE McCarthys 

berton." This announcement also appeared in the Ga- 
zette of August 9th and 16th, 1750, and this, coupled 
with the fact that the vessel lay at Philadelphia for 
over two months, indicates that the human freight im- 
ported from Cork must have been very large, since it 
was usual to retain the passengers on board the immi- 
grant ships until the "time" of each person was dis- 
posed of. In the Gazette of October 11, 1750, among 
vessels "cleared for departure" from Philadelphia, the 
"Brig'* Dove, Daniel McCarthy, for Jamaica," is listed. 
As I have found no other references to Captain Mc- 
Carthy, I am unable to trace further the career of this 
interesting Irish mariner of colonial times, but it may 
be that the "Daniel McCarthy of Dublin," whose death 
was announced in the Pennsylvania Gazette of May 28, 
1752, was the same man. However, there was a ' ' Daniel 
McCarty, Master of the Brig Dolphin, thirty tons," 
registered at the Philadelphia Custom House under date 
of June 3, 1768, and a Captain Daniel McCarthy is 
mention in the Pennsylvania Gazette in the years 1771 
and 1773 as commander of a merchant vessel plying out 
of Philadelphia. 

Among the commanders of vessels registered at the 
Philadelphia Custom House, and plying out of that port, 
as recorded under "Ship's Registers" in the Penn- 
sylvania Archives,^* were : Justin McCarthy, Master of 
the sloop Hihernia, 30 tons, registered October 25, 1766 ; 
Charles McCarthy, Master of the brig Helena and Mary, 
100 tons, registered June 3, 1774, and John McCarty, 
Captain of the brigantine Comet, 14 guns, in the service 
of the Pennsylvania Navy in 1776. A number of sailors 
and marines also served on vessels of the Pennsylvania 
Navy in the Revolution. Patrick McCarty enlisted as a 

24 2nd Ser., Vol. XI. 


private of marines on tlie armed boat Bace Horse on May 
1, 1776 : Timothy McCarty joined the crew of the same 
boat on June 12, 1777, and on July 7, 1777, Daniel Mc- 
Carty enlisted as a marine on the Race Horse. Jeremiah 
McCarty enlisted as a seaman on the ship Montgomery, 
April 2, 1776, and on August 1st following he was 
"promoted to boatswain," and Patrick McCarthy en- 
listed March 19, 1776, as a marine on the same vessel. 
Another Patrick McCarthy was discharged on March 8, 
1777, from the ''Putnam Floating Battery." John Mc- 
Carty joined the armed boat Thunder on May 6, 1777, 
and was recorded "drowned May 13, 1777." Thomas 
McCarty served as a private on the Warren: enlisted 
May 1, 1776; discharged August 21, 1776. Jeremiah 
McCarty was then boatswain of the vessel and James 
McCarty was its boatswain after December 1st, 1776. 
John McCarty enlisted as a private on the General Wash- 
ington on October 3, 1775, and on February 14, 1776, 
Daniel McCarthy was enlisted as a marine on the armed 
boat Camden. John McCarthy of Philadelphia was ap- 
pointed Mate of the ship Columbia on June 22, 1781. A 
Daniel McCarthy is also recorded as "private in Captain 
Robert Mullan's Company of Marines," with date of 
enlistment August 10, 1776. This was largely an Irish 
company, judging from the names of the men,^^ and 
were raised and commanded by Robert Mullan, proprie- 
tor of a tavern in Water Street, Philadelphia. John 
Carty, marine, enlisted on the Bull Dog of the Penn- 
sylvania Navy on November 17, 1776. 

No better evidence can be found in support of the 
assertion that large numbers of Irish families settled 
in Pennsylvania in colonial days than the names of these 
people recorded as patentees of lands in that Province 

25 In Pennsylvania Archives, 2nd Ser., Vol. 15. 

166 THE McCarthys 

and State. These names are enumerated in the oflficial 
publications known as the Pennsylvania Archives, and 
the vast number of old Irish names appearing in these 
Archives, beginning with the early years of the eight- 
eenth century, furnish a clear indication that the immi- 
grants from Ireland were comprised of all classes of 
the population and that they came, not only from the 
Province of Ulster, but from all parts of the Kingdom. 
Among these a number of McCarthys are listed as "War- 
rantees of Land" and "Taxables," and in the muster 
rolls of the soldiers who fought in the Colonial and 
Revolutionary wars, and the land records show that 
people of the name were owners of property in four- 
teen different Counties of the State prior to the year 

Many of these Irish immigrants settled in Chester 
County, and indeed so numerous are the names of these 
people and their descendants in the land and church 
records of this part of the State that it would seem as 
if nearly every well-known Irish family had one or more 
representatives in this region prior to the Revolution. 
Chester County is noted for the large number of men 
recruited there for the Continental army and militia, 
and among these appear a number of McCarthys. The 
earliest mention of a McCarthy in the land records of 
Chester County is that of Andrew, who received a patent 
for one hundred acres of land on March 9, 1748, and 
again on December 12, 1754, and in 1750 John and James 
McCarty received grants of fifty acres each in the same 
vicinity. Patrick McCarty was also a land owner in 
Chester County, since his name appears in the tax lists 
of the year 1753, and Cornelius McCarty 's name is en- 
tered in the land records as of September 30, 1757, as 
the patentee of one hundred acres in Chester County. 


Daniel McCarty appears four times in the year 1753 
as the patentee of lands in Northampton County. 

Among the "Taxables" enumerated in the "Provin- 
cial Papers, containing the Provincial and State Tax 
Lists, ' ' ^^ and the years in which they are first recorded 
appear an unusual number of persons of this name, of 
whom the following is an exact list : 

Year First 
Name County Recorded 

Edward McCarty Bucks 1737 

Silas McCarty Bucks 1737 

Thomas McCarty Bucks 1746 

Andrew McCarty Chester 1748 

Silas McCarthy Bucks 1749 

John McCarty Chester 1750 

James McCarty Chester 1750 

Patrick McCarty Chester 1753 

John McCarty Chester 1753 

Daniel McCarty 27 Northampton 1753 

Cornelius McCarty Chester 1757 

Benjamin McCarty Chester 1765 

Patrick McCarty (2nd) Chester 1765 

John McCarty Chester 1766 

Thomas McCarty Chester 1766 

Edward McCarty Philadelphia 1769 

James McCarty Northampton 1770 

Nathaniel McCarty Bedford 1773 

Nicholas McCarty Bucks 1773 

Neal McCarty Chester 1774 

Henry McCarty Chester 1774 

William McCarty Philadelphia 1774 

Duncan McCarty Philadelphia 1774 

Isaac McCarty Chester 1774 

John McCarthey Armagh Township 1778 

John McCarthy Derry Township 1778 


Dennis McCarty Philadelphia 1779 

Edward McCarty Bucks 1779 

26 In Pennsylvania Archives, 3rd Ser., Vol. 24. 

27 Four separate grants. 




Daniel McCarty 

Jonathan McCarty . . . 

Charles McCarty 

Isaac McCarty 

Bartholomew McCartie 

Dugan McCarty 

Felix McCarty 

John McCarty 

Year First 
County Recorded 

Chester 1779 

Chester 1779 

Cumberland 1770 

Philadelphia 1779 

Cumberland 1779 

Chester 1780 

Bucks 1780 

Chester 1781 

Paul McCarty Washington 1781 

John McCart Washington 1781 

John McCarthy Washington 1781 

Nicholas McCarty Bucks 1781 

Dennis McCarty Philadelphia 1781 

John McCarthy Berks 1781 

Patrick McCarthy Northumberland 1781 

Arichibald McCarty Cumberland 1782 

Dennis McCarty Cumberland 1782 

John McCarty Cumberland 1782 

Hugh McCarthey York 1782 

John McCarty Philadelphia 1783 

Robert McCarty Westmoreland 1783 

John McCarty Westmoreland 1783 

Samuel McCarty Westmoreland 1783 

Adam McCarty Westmoreland 1783 

Daniel McCarty Westmoreland 1783 

Daniel McKarty Bedford 1784 

David McCarthey Northumberland 1784 

Dennis McCarty Fayette 1785 

David McCarty Fayette 1785 

Adam McCarty Fayette 1785 

John McCarty Fayette 1785 

Nathaniel McCarty Fayette 1785 

James McCarthy Northumberland 1785 

Laughlin McCarthy Northumberland 1785 

Daniel McCartee Northampton 1785 

William McCartee Northampton 1785 

Thomas McCarty Northampton 1785 

Joseph McCarty Chester 1785 

John McCarthy Washington 1786 

John McCarty Northampton 1786 

Benjamin McCarty Northampton 1786 

Elizabeth McCarty Northampton 1786 


Year First 
^«"*« County Recorded 

James McCarty Northampton 1786 

Thomas McCartie Northampton 1786 

Samuel McCarty Fayette 1786 

David McCarty Westmoreland " ! 1786 

John McCarty Cumberland 1787 

Henry McCarty Huntingdon 1788 

Michael McCarthy Northampton 1788 

James McCarthy Northampton 1788 

Silas McCarty Northampton 1789 

William McCarty Northampton 1790 

Samuel McCarty Northampton 1792 

Philip McCarty Northampton 1794 

Very little information as to these people seems to 
be available, and in the few cases where they are men- 
tioned at all in the town and county histories there is 
only mere passing reference to them. What a rare op- 
portunity presents itself here for a person who may be 
seriously interested in the story of the American Mc- 
Carthys, for there can be no doubt that some data as 
to the history of these people could be obtained by a 
thorough and systematic search. The John McCarthy 
of Washington County mentioned in this list was one 
of the early settlers of that district, having emigrated 
from Ireland in 1773 when a very young man, locating 
at the head of Cherry Run Valley in Robinson town- 
ship. Here he settled down to pioneer life in the for- 
est, erected a log house and stockade and ever after- 
wards made the place his home. He is described by the 
County historian as "an energetic, hard-working pioneer 
and in the course of a few years he had made extensive 
improvements ' ' to his original grant.^^ He acquired con- 
siderable land in Washington County which he divided 
among his five sons, Timothy, John, James, Samuel and 

^^28 Hweorz/ of Washington County, Pa., by Boyd Cumrine; Philadelphia, 

170 THE McCarthys 

Eobert McCarthy. Among his neighbors in Robinson 
Township are mentioned people named McCormick, Mc- 
Bride, McGehan, McDowell, McGug^n, McCarroll, Mc- 
Conaughey and McCloskey. Adjacent to McCarthy's 
land was Cherry Fort, erected in 1774. It was built 
to withstand a formidable attack, and here in times of 
danger the McCarthy and neighboring families fled for 
protection against the Indians.-^ One of John Mc- 
Carthy's grandsons, Dr. Henry D. McCarthy, was a 
noted western educator. He was bom in "Washington 
County in 1822 and taught for some years at the "West 
Alexander, Pa., academy under Dr. John McCloskey, 
after which he took charge of an academy at Morris- 
town, Ohio. At his own expense, he went on a tour of 
the country, visiting schools, lecturing at institutions 
and laboring in the cause of education generally. About 
the middle of the last century he went to Kansas and 
opened a school at Leavenworth, then a frontier settle- 
ment, surmounting obstacles and difficulties which would 
have overcome many less resolute men, but, on the out- 
break of the Civil War he volunteered and rose to the 
command of his company. After the war he took a 
prominent part in the organization of the public school 
system of Kansas and was the founder and editor of an 
Educational Journal which had wide circulation and 

In "A Return of the number of houses, names of 
owners, and number of men, women and children at 
Fort Pitt,^*' April 14, 1761," extracted from a manu- 
script entitled "The Correspondence of Brigadier-Gen- 
eral Henry Bouquet, 1757-1765," ^^ appears the name 
of Patrick McCarty. Patrick had served as a soldier 

29 Frontier Forts of Pennsylvania; Vol. II, p. 429; Harrisburg, 1916. 

30 Now Pittsburg. 

31 In Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography; Vol. VI, p. 344. 


in the Colonial "War and was in an expedition com- 
manded by Bouquet. Thomas McCarthy was "one of the 
Commissioners of the United States to treat with the 
Indians at Fort Pitt in 1776 for a Treaty." ^^ He was 
called by the Indians Moskomoge, meaning ''the Fish 
Hawk." This Thomas McCarthy also had the distinc- 
tion of serving on Washington's famous Body-Guard. 
His military record shows that on January 14, 1776, he 
enlisted for three years from Newtown, Pa., in Captain 
George Lewis' troop of Colonel George Baylor's Third 
Regiment of Continental Dragoons and was "assigned 
May 1, 1777, to the Cavalry of the Commander-in-Chief's 
Guard. "^3 

In examining the records from which the foregoing 
items are extracted, it is with considerable interest that 
one notes the constant recurrence, not only of the Mc- 
Carthy name, but of numerous other old Irish names. 
These official entries, in themselves, show that the Mc- 
Carthys played a certain part among the pioneers of 
the "Keystone State" in the tilling of the soil and the 
development of its business, yet it is strange that but 
few of these people receive any credit from the historians 
or are mentioned at all among the pioneer settlers. It 
is not only in the tax lists that these names appear, but 
in connection with land transactions of all kinds and the 
everyday business of life, and while these prosaic records 
furnish no information to indicate what the history of 

32 Penn. Mag. of History and Biography, Vol. V, p. 584. 

33 Among those who served in the Commander-in-Chief's Guard were : 
Connor Robert Finley .James Hughes Thomas McCarthy- 

Solomon Daly William Garret John Kenney Denis Moriarty 

William Darrah William Gill William Kernahan Andrew O'Brien 

Charles Dougherty Thomas Gillen John Leary William O'Neill 

George Dougherty Hugh Hagerty Logan William Reiley 

James Dougherty William Hennessey Michael Lynch Michael Sutton 

William Dunn Thomas Hickey William McCown William Roach 

Jeremiah Driskel Thomas Holland James McDonald William Mclntire 
James Dady 

172 THE McCarthys 

these people may have been, one has only to consult the 
Pennsylvania Archives to obtain an idea of the great 
number of Irish families who settled in that Province in 
the eighteenth century, which explains why such a large 
proportion of the soldiers of the Pennsylvania Line were 
of old Irish stock. 



Large number of men of the name appear in the muster-rolls of 
Colonial troops and the Land Papers of New York — The New 
York marriage and probate records — ^The McCarty families of 
Albany — The exploit of Timothy Murphy at the battle of 
Saratoga — The old merchants of New York — Dr. D. B. Mc- 
Cartee, a distinguished scholar — McCarthys in the New Jersey 
probate records — Revolutionary soldiers. 

The first of the name mentioned in New York records 
was Dennis McCarthy. In the "Court Minutes of New 
Amsterdam" the following entry appears: "Att a 
Court of the Mayor and Aldermen held at New Yorke 
by his Mayest^®^ Authority the 24th. day of October, 
1671," ''Dennis McKarty P'* v/s Thomas Edwards, M"" 
of the Ketch Society, Def*, The P'* declares that the 
Def is Indebted unto him for Cutting & Chipping of 
Logwood the summe of Five pounds sterling and craves 
Judgem* for the same ag^* the DefV' and the Court 
ordered the defendant to pay the amount with costs. 
Again, at "A Mayor's Court held in New Yorke the 14th. 
of November, 1671," the case of "Samuel Hall Pit v/s 
Denys McKarty Deft" came up, but the record says: 
"the Pit defaut" and "the Court ordered that a Non- 
suit should be entred agst the PI* to pay Cost. ' ' ^ The 
next appearance of the name in New York records was 
that of "Thaddeus MacCarty of Boston" under date of 
October 7, 1677. It is evident that a family of the 
name was in the City of New York as early as 1710, 

1 The Records of New Amsterdam, 1653-1674, edited by Berthold 
Fernow; Vol. VI, pp. 338 and 344, New York, 1897. 


174 THE McCarthys 

as may be seen from a list of marriages solemnized at 
the Dutch Reformed Church, which includes the mar- 
riage of "Dennis Makharty and Elizabeth Reedt" on 
December 14, 1710.^'* "Caerty" was another peculiar 
twist given to the name by the Dutch Dominee who 
baptized "Wilhelmus, daughter of William Murfie and 
his wife, Annatje Van Ekle," at the Dutch Reformed 
Church of New York on December 10, 1718, ''Geesji 
Caerty, wife of Owen Carthey or McCarthey," was one 
of the sponsors at this Irish-Dutch christening. One 
Hugh MeCarty was an early resident of Long Island 
and evidently came over as a " redemptioner, " accord- 
ing to a clause in the will of Joseph Sackett of New- 
town, Queens County, dated September 20, 1719, which 
reads: "I leave to my son John the time Hugh Me- 
Carty has to live with me by his indenture. ' ' ^ 

A family of the name is on record in Albany County 
as early as 1736. On March 7th of that year "Pieter 
or Patric Maccarty of Half Moon" married Greefje 
Rhee, and there is an entry of his second marriage in 
1742 to Anna . . . and among the baptisms at the Dutch 
Church at Albany were "Philip, son of Pieter or Patrik 
Macarty" on January 8, 1736, and "Catharine, daug- 
ter of Patrick and Anna Macarty" on February 6, 1743.' 
John Macarty seems also to have been at Albany or vi- 
cinity, but the only mention of his name I can find is the 
record of the baptism of "Elizabeth, child of John 
Macarty and Anna Dorson" on February 14, 1748.* 
The marriages of Dennis McCarty and Nancy Homes 

la Marriage records published by New York Oenedlogicdl and Bio- 
graphical Society. 

2 Abstracts of Wills, Lib. IX, fol. 9, in Vol. XXVI, New York His- 
torical Society publications. 

3 Genealogies of the First Settlers of the Aricient County of Albany, 
by Jonathan Pearson, p. 77 ; Albany, 1872. 

4 Hid. 


and of Timothy McCarty and Rebecca Patin, on Febru- 
ary 21, 1780, and February 15, 1787, respectively, are 
also recorded at Albany.^ 

In the New York newspapers of the Colonial period 
may be seen occasional advertisements of "Lists of Let- 
ters remaining in the Post office at New York before 
the Posts came in." In all cases the residences of the 
addressees were not mentioned, presumably because they 
were unknown, and among the advertisements under this 
head which were printed in issues of the New York 
Gazette and Weekly Mercury of the dates named were 
letters addressed to 

Ann McCarty August 10, 1754 

Mary McCarty July 7, 1755 

Neil McCarty July 19, 1773 

Margaret McCarty March 6, 1775 

Thomas McCarty March 6, 1775 

The muster-rolls of the troops raised in the Province 
of New York for service in the Colonial wars contain 
a surprisingly large number of Irish names, and in 
those companies where the Captains or recruiting officers 
took down the nativity of the men it is seen that a large 
proportion of these Irish-named soldiers were natives of 
Ireland, and that most of them were in the prime of life 
and therefore physically fitted to render good service to 
the country. The original muster-rolls were transcribed 
by the New York Historical Society and were reproduced 
in that Society's publications,^ and from this source I 
have taken the following items, covering soldiers named 
McCarthy who were recruited in various parts of the 
Province for the French-English War : 

Owen McCarty and John Karty in company of volun- 
teers mustered in at the City of Albany June 4, 1755, 

5lbi4. 6 Vol. XXIV. 

176 THE McCarthys 

and serving at Lake George in October, 1755, under 
Captain Edward Matthews. 

Matthew McCarty appears in roll of Captain Has- 
brook 's company of troops under the command of Colonel 
DeLancey, raised in 1758. 

Thomas McCarty, age 50, bom in Ireland, labourer; 
and Lawrence McCarty, age 33, born in Ireland, miner, 
in company of men raised in the City and County of 
New York by Captain George Brewerton. Date of en- 
listment April 16, 1759. Another Lawrence, surname 
recorded as "McCarth," age 22, born in Ireland, miner, 
enlisted on April 30, 1759, in Capt. A. Saylor's company 
of Colonel Michael Thodey's regiment. 

Thomas Carty, age 20, bom in Ireland, mariner, en- 
listed in Captain George Brewerton 's New York Com- 
pany on April 26, 1759. 

Alexander McCarthy, bom in Scotland, enlisted in 
company of men mustered for the City of New York 
by Captain Bamaby Byrne, March 24, 1760. 

Hugh McCarty, age 20, born in Ireland, labourer, in 
roll of men raised in Queen's County in April, 1760; 
served under Lieutenant Edward Burke in company 
commanded by Captain Daniel Wright. 

Jeremiah McCarthey served in Captain Richard Rea's 
company raised in Albany County in 1761. 

Darby McCarty, age 28, born in Ireland, labourer, in 
roll of Captain Livingston's company raised in Albany 
County in May, 1760. 

Owen McCarty, age 26, bom in Ireland, mariner, 
served under Lieutenant Constantine O'Brien of Cap- 
tain Abraham Deforeest's company, raised in the City 
of New York. Date of enlistment May 6, 1760. 

Charles McCarty, enlisted in May, 1760, in Captain 
Viele's company raised in Dutchess County. 


Patrick Carty, age 32, born in Ireland, labourer, in 
roll of men raised in Queen's County by Captain George 
Dunbar. Date of enlistment April 1, 1760. 

William McCarthy, age 30, bom in Ireland, sailor, 
in roll of "men raised in the Province of New York 
for the expedition against Canada under command of 
Captain Francis Thodey. ' ' Date of enlistment June 11, 

Thomas McCarty, age 42, bom in Ireland, labourer, in 
roll of men raised in Albany County by Captain Stephen 
Schuyler. Enlisted May 3, 1760. 

Hugh McCartee, age 26, born in Ireland, stone cutter, 
mustered into Captain William Gilchrist's company 
raised in Westchester County, May 13, 1760. 

John McCarty, age 36, born in Ireland, labourer, en- 
listed April 29, 1760, in Captain James Clinton's com- 
pany raised in Ulster County. This man's name is 
also recorded as "John Mchearty." 

Thomas McCarty, age 44, born in Ireland, butcher, 
in roll of men raised in Albany County by Captain 
Christopher Yates. Enlisted May 19, 1761. 

Thomas McCarty, age 21, born in Ireland, cooper, in 
roll of men raised in Queens and Westchester Counties 
by Captain George Dunbar. Date of enlistment, June 
17, 1761. 

William Carty, age 26, bom in New England, labourer, 
in roll of men raised in Albany County by Captain John 
Van Veghten, of the Second New York Regiment. En- 
listed May 28, 1761. 

David McCarthy, drummer in Captain Peter Harris' 
Dutchess County company. Enlisted May 28, 1761. 

Alexander McCarty, in Captain Lents' company of 
Albany County troops, enlisted July 2, 1761. 

Charles MeCartery, age 27, born in Ireland, mariner. 

178 THE McCarthys 

served in Captain Piatt's Company of Suffolk County, 
mustered in 1761. 

Alexander McCarthy, served in Captain James Clin- 
ton's company of Ulster County, mustered in June 20, 

Jeremiah MeCarty, age 30, born in Ireland, sawyer, 
in roll of men mustered in at Albany May 17, 1762, 
for Captain Cornelius Van Denbigh. 

John McCarthy enlisted December 25, 1763, in a com- 
pany under Lieutenant Joseph Fitzpatrick, mustered in 
at New York on January 6, 1764. 

Thomas McCarty, served as Lieutenant under Captain 
Barnaby Byrne, in a company of Provincials mustered 
in at New York, May 9, 1764. 

In the "Land Papers" at the office of the Secretary 
of State at Albany, among soldiers entitled to grants 
of land for military services in the Colonial wars, a 
large number of Irish names appear. Under date of 
January 19, 1765, there is a "Certificate of Captain 
James Grant that John McCarthy served as a corporal 
in the 40th Regiment," for which he was entitled to 
a grant of land. A "Return of Survey" for Charles 
McCarty and others, "late privates in the 80th Regiment, 
of a tract of 800 acres on the East side of Lake Cham- 
plain in Albany County" (now Shelburne, "Vermont), 
appears under date of July 20, 1765, and on March 3, 
1766, John McCarty and John Sullivan, describing them- 
selves as "late sergeants in the 40th Regiment," peti- 
,tioned for "a grant of 750 acres of land on the east 
side of Lake Champlain in Albany County." On Au- 
gust 19, 1766, Thomas McCarty and five others petitioned 
"for 800 acres of land on the west side of Hudson's 
River in Ulster County," and the "Petition of John 
McCarty for 200 acres on the east side of Hudson's 


River in Albany County," accompanied by a certificate 
that "he served as a drummer in the 80th Regiment," is 
dated November 11, 1768. On September 24, 1771, there 
was entered a "Return of Survey" for John McCarty 
* ' for 200 acres of land on west side of the Hudson River 
in Albany County near the Cater 's Kill." 

John McCarthy and Finley McCarty of New York 
City appear in the "Poll List on Election for Assembly, 
February, 1761." I find references to three men named 
McCarthy having been "murdered" at different places 
in the Province of New York. In the New York Gazette 
and Weekly Post-Boy of September 10, 1750, there is 
an account of a "Coroner's Inquest on the Body of one 
Thomas McCarthy in this City, who died the Tuesday 
before of some Wounds he received the 1st of August last 
in a Scuffle with a Boatman, when it was brought in 
Wilful Murder." The Providence (R. I.) Gazette of 
February 4, 1764, referred to the death of "Thomas 
McCarthy, who was Killed by a highwayman at Cow 
Neck, Long Island," and in the "Calendar of His- 
torical Manuscripts" in the office of the Secretary of 
State, under date of March 7, 1764, there is a copy of 
a proclamation issued "for the arrest of Joseph Corn- 
wall and Richardson Cornwall of New York, Shop- 
keepers, charged with the murder of Timothy McCarthy, 
of New York, Merchant, who were concealed at the 
house of Henry Sands, in Nassau Island." 

In the last half of the eighteenth century there were 
a number of families named McCarthy in Orange County, 
chiefly at Minisink in the Town of Deer Park. Minisink 
was the Indian name for a large district now embraced 
partly in Sussex County, N. J., and partly in Orange 
County, N. Y., and on Sussex County records of the 
year 1758 James McCarty is mentioned as one of the 

180 THE McCarthys 

pioneer settlers^ The earliest reference to a person of 
the name was the marriage of James McCarty and Lisa- 
beth Mey in the Reformed Church at Deer Park on June 
15, 1746, and the next appearance of the name was when 
Sarah McCarty became the wife of Joseph Bacon at the 
same Church on July 8, 1753. From that time forward, 
down to the end of the century, the name occurs fre- 
quently in the marriage and baptismal records, as will 
be noted from the extracts appended hereto, which have 
been taken from the collections of the New York Genea- 
logical and Biographical Society. One of the ancient 
churches of the town of Deer Park is at a place called 
Walpeck and its records show that a large number of 
McCartys were married and baptized there during the 
early years of the last century. 

The records of the Deer Park Churches afford an in- 
sight to the way surnames became changed in America, 
and they serve as an explanation of the reason why so 
many old American families of the present day of Irish 
descent now bear apparently non-Irish names. Among 
several curious entries which appear in the baptismal 
register of the Reformed Church at Deer Park are: 
' ' James, three years old, son of Hugh Maccate and Mary 
McCann," and ''Stephen, six years old; Huwe, four 
years old; and Maragriet, one year old; children of 
Stephen Maccate and Nancy Gibbons," all baptized on 
March 26, 1764.^ One would hardly suspect Hugh and 
Stephen "Maccate" to have been MacCarthys, were it 
not for the fact that their marriages to Mary McCann 
and Nancy Gibbons are so recorded. In the same 
records the name is also rendered "Charty," "Mc- 
Charty" and "McKarter," as for instance: James Mc- 

7 New Jersey Calendar of Wills, in New Jersey Archives, 5th Ser. 
Vol. 20. 

8 New York Oenecdogical and Biographical Record, Vol. 43. 


Carty was a witness at the baptism of "Jacobus, son of 
Christopher Decker and his wife, Mariea McKarter," 
July 9, 1777, and "William M. Charty" and "Elizabeth 
M. Charty" were sponsors for "Andries, son of Christo- 
pher Decker and his wife, Maria McCharty" on April 
29, 1772. In other entries the names of the "Chartys" 
are spelled "McCarty" and also that of "Mariea Mc- 
Karter" or "Maria McCharty." There is no mention 
whatever of these people in Orange County histories, 
notwithstanding that there have been several families 
of the name there since the middle of the eighteenth 

The Registry of Deeds for New York County contains 
the following entries: deed from Charles McCarthy to 
James Logan and others, dated October 30, 1765 ; ^ deed 
from Thomas and Mary McCarthy to Robert Spier, dated 
May 1, 1798,i<> and deed from John Schanck to Thomas 
McCarty, dated May 2, 1797." Among persons of this 
name who appear in New York probate records are the 
following : 

John McCarthey, witness to will of Thomas Hepworth 
of New York City, April 22, 1758. 

George McCarty, witness to will of Jacob Stone of 
Beekman, Dutchess County, February 15, 1773. 

Cornelius McCarthy, witness to will of Joshua Bishop 
of Phillipsburgh, Westchester County, August 23, 1775, 
and Cornelius McCarty, possibly the same, witness to 
will of Benjamin Farmington of Mile Square, West- 
chester County, April 4, 1779. 

Thomas McCarthy, witness to will of Michael O'Dell 
of Westchester County, July 22, 1782. 

John McCarty, "Clerk. in hospital," died intestate 

9 Liter 37, p. 463. n Liber 54, p. 493. 

10 Liber 57, p. 488. 

182 THE McCarthys 

and Letters of Administration granted to George Stan- 
ton on September 15, 1782. 

Charlotte McCarthy, wife of, David McCarthy, one 
of the beneficiaries under the will of John Barclay, 
Mayor of the City of Albany, dated June 20, 1783. 

Charles McCarthy " and Jonathan Sullivan, witnesses 
to will of Gibbon Bourke, merchant of New York, dated 
March 2, 1788. Among the legatees mentioned were 
John and Marie Sullivan, Thomas, John, Margaret and 
Michael Bourke, and "the Catholic Church of St. 

James "McCardy" appointed one of the executors of 
the will of John Barkley of Montgomery, Ulster County, 
dated September 4, 1786. 

Timothy McCarty, witness to will of John Peters of 
New York City, May 18, 1791. 

Duncan McCarty, witness to will of James Lakerman 
of New York, January 16, 1793. 

Charles McCarty, witness to will of James Farrell of 
New York, June 14, 1794. 

Thomas McCarty, cooper of New York, died intestate 
and Letters of Administration granted to his wife, Mary, 
December 29, 1798. 

John McCarty was one of the signatories to the ' * Asso- 
ciation Pledge" of 1775, by which the people of Orange 
County pledged their allegiance to the patriot cause,^^ 
and it is noted that among those who signed the Pledge 
from the little town of Cornwall, where John McCarty 
resided, were a goodly Irish representation, consisting 
of the following : 

12 Charles McCarthy signed as -witness to ten New York Wills prior 
to 1800, from which it is assumed that he was a lawyer. 

13 Calendar of Historical Manuscripts relating to the War of the Revo- 
lution, published by the Secretary of State; Vol. I, p. 13. 


Thomas Sullivan, Matthew Sweeny, Maurice Hearen, 

John Kelly, Thomas Lynch, Lewis Donovan, 

Michael Kelley, Francis Bourke, John McKelvey, 

Hugh McDonnel, William McLaughlin, John McClughin, 

Patrick O'Day, Patrick McDonall, Patrick Ford. 

Patrich Cashaday, Patrick McLaughlin, 

Another of the name, John McKarty, appears as one 
of the "Associators at Kingston, Ulster County, May 
and June, 1775. " " A similar pledge was entered into 
by patriots in the City of New York in accordance 
with a "General Association adopted by the Freemen, 
Freeholders and Inhabitants of the City of New York 
on Saturday the 29th of April, 1775, and transmitted 
to all the Counties of the Province," and among the 
nearly 250 Irish-named signatories to this historic docu- 
ment, as shown in Force's American Archives,^^ appear 
the names of Bartholomew Carty, John McCarty and 
John McKarty. 

David McCarty was a man of some prominence at Al- 
bany before the Revolution. The ''Journal of the New 
York Legislative Council" ^^ shows that on March 9, 
1775, he was recommended to the Governor for an ap- 
pointment as Justice of Albany County. He was a 
member of the Committee of Safety for Albany County 
during the Revolution and appears also to have served 
in the field, and from 1793 until the time of his death 
he was General of State troops. According to American 
Ancestry,^^ he came from Ireland to Albany prior to 
1771, and in that year he married Charlotta Coeymans, 
granddaughter of Pieter Coeymans, the founder of a 
wealthy Dutch family, and through this marriage David 

14 /bid., Vol. I, p. 30. 

15 4th Ser. Vol. Ill, pp. 582-619. 

16 See Calendar of HMorical Manuscripts, in the office of the Secretary 
of State; ed. by O'Callaghan, p. 832. 

17 Vol. I, p. 54; edited by Joel Munsell, Albany, N. Y. 

184 THE McCarthys 

McCarty came into possession of portion of the lands 
comprised in the old Coe>Tiians patent. On April 14, 
1776, McCarty signed himself as "of the Manor of 
Rensselaer" in a "Recommendation for Sheriff and 
Clerk of Albany. " ^^ In 1792 he is mentioned as a mem- 
ber of the Legislature and later as a Judge of Albany 
County.^® He died in 1812, His son, David, born in 
Albany in 1782, was a State Senator in 1826 and Judge 
of Albany County. Another David McCarty of Coey- 
mans, who was bom in 1808, was Colonel of the 110th 
Regiment of New York State Militia. Still another 
family of the name lived in Rensselaer County. In 
American Ancestry there is a reference to George Mc- 
Carthy, born at Greenbush in 1775, who was a son of 
Timothy McCarthy (and Rebecca Patten) who was 
"born in County Cork, Ireland, and came to Amer- 
ica."-'' Among the early settlers at Lansingburgh, 
Rensselaer County, about 1771 Hugh McCarty is men- 

There was a John McCarty at Albany, probably of 
the same family as David, who is mentioned as furnish- 
ing supplies for the use of the American troops during 
the Revolution. In the "Journal of the Committee of 
Safety of the New York Provincial Congress" there is 
an entry under date of March 3, 1777, showing that 
"James Magee, one of the persons appointed by the 
Committee by their resolution on the ninth of October 
last, to purchase clothing of different kinds in the 
County of Albany for the use of the troops raised in 
this State," was furnished with goods, valued at £102. 

IS Calendar of Historical Manuscripts; Vol. I, p. 324. 

19 New York Genealogical d; Biographical Record, Vol. 33. 

20 American Ancestry, Vol. I, p. 54. v tw a t 

21 History of the Seventeen Towns of Rensselaer County, by Dr. A. J. 


19s. 6d., for the use of the Third Battalion of New York 
Continental troops, by John McCarty of Albany. The 
earliest deed for lands in Oswego County, recorded at 
the County Clerk's office, was made by William Cock- 
bum and Isaac Davis, as attorneys for Dennis McCarthy 
and Matthew Whalen, covering "lots in the Military 
Tow^iship of Hannibal," The deed is dated August 
18, 1790, and described McCarthy and Whalen as "sol- 
diers of the Revolution" and the lots as having been 
granted to them for their services as such.^^ 

At Johnstown, N. Y., there were a number of Irish 
and Highland Scotch settlers prior to 1773, and among 
them were families named McCarthy, Moriarty, Byrne, 
Doran, Sadlier, Egan, Lafferty and Daly, some of whom 
are referred to by a local historian as "the aristocratic 
foreign element. ' ' -^ These people were induced to emi- 
grate from Ireland by Sir William Johnson, "Governor 
of the Indians from the Hudson to the Mississippi 
River," who was himself a native of County Meath, 
Ireland, and was a descendant of the Irish family of 
MacShane. An Irishman named Wall, also from Meath, 
was the schoolmaster of the settlement. According to 
the historian of Fulton County, "Saint Patrick's Par- 
ish was formed at Johnstown in 1773, whose clergyman 
was Rev. John McKenna, an Irish Catholic priest, who 
was educated at Louvain University." He is described 
as "the first resident Roman Catholic priest in this 
State after the Jesuit missionaries among the Mohawks 
nearly a century before." ^* A number of Irish people 
were members of "Saint Patrick's Lodge of Free and 
Accepted Masons," founded at Johnstown in 1766, of 
which Sir William Johnson was the first "Master" and 

22 Onondaga County Transcribed Records, Vol. I, p. 1. 

23 History of Fulton County, N. Y., by Frothingham, p. 242. 
24 /bid., p. 237. 

186 THE McCarthys 

Michael Byrne, a native of Wicklow, Ireland, was "Jun- 
ior Warden. ' ' John McCarthy was Master of the Lodge 
in 1797. At Rhinebeck, Dutchess County, one Daniel 
McCarthy is mentioned as one of the ''active and influ- 
ential citizens" of the town. A local historian says that 
"when Colonel Livingston returned home from the Rev- 
olutionary war, he brought with him two old soldiers 
of the Revolution, named Henry Doyle and Daniel Mc- 
Carthy. McCarthy became a miller, and no family did 

more in the upbuilding of the town and village than the 

McCarthys." 24a 

At Saratoga, a place famous not only for its springs but 
as the scene of Burgoyne's surrender, we find an Irish- 
man named McCarthy in possession of the ground over 
which the fiercest struggle was fought during the battle 
which proved to be the turning point of the Revolution- 
ary War. It will be of interest to recall in this connec- 
tion an incident which happened at the battle of Saratoga, 
related by Lossing in his Field Booh of the Revolution. 
The main force of the enemy under Burgoyne was under 
the command of General Fraser, "the brains of the 
British Army." "The gallant Fraser was the direct- 
ing soul of the British troops in action, and his skill and 
courage were everywhere conspicuous. When the lines 
gave way, he brought order out of confusion; when 
regiments began to waver, he infused courage into them 
by voice and example. He was mounted on a splendid 
iron-gray gelding; and dressed in the full uniform of 
a field officer, he was a conspicuous object for the Amer- 
icans. It was evident that the fate of the battle rested 
upon him and this the keen eye and sure judgment of 
Morgan perceived. In an instant his purpose was con- 
ceived, and, calling a file of his best men around him, 

24a Historic Old Rhinebeck, by Howard H. Morse. 


he said, as he pointed toward the British right, 'That 
gallant officer is General Fraser. I admire and honor 
him, but it is necessary he should die; victory for the 
enemy depends upon him. Take your stations in that 
clump of bushes and do your duty.' Within five min- 
utes Fraser fell, mortally wounded. As soon as Fraser 
fell, a panic spread along the British line. . . . The 
whole line gave way and fled precipitately within the 
entrenchments of the Camp." So ended the battle of 
Saratoga, in a victory for the Americans. The name 
of the rifleman who killed General Fraser was Timothy 
Murphy. Afterwards he accompanied General Sullivan 
in his expedition against the Indians in Central and 
Western New York, and many stories are told of Mur- 
phy's prowess as a rifleman in the fighting in that terri- 
tory against the savage allies of the British. 

The owner of the house in which General Fraser died 
was John McCarthy, who also leased the land, which 
was at a place known as Wilbur's Basin near the Hudson 
River. On this farm were several hills or large knolls 
and on the seizure of the place by the enemy prior to 
the battle, they erected entrenchments on these hills 
facing the river in preparation for the coming struggle. 
What became of John McCarthy, history does not re- 
cord, but a local historian informs us that ''the first 
owner of the farm house was John McCarty, who ran 
away from home in Limerick,^^ Ireland, to avoid marry- 
ing a girl whom his parents had selected for him. In 
1765 he leased a farm at Wilbur's Basin from Philip 
Schuyler, on which are the three hills fortified by Bur- 
goyne and on one of which General Fraser was buried. 

25 It is an interesting fact also that "the first white men known to 
have visited Saratoga Springs," Michael and Nicholas McDonald, brothers, 
were from Limerick, Ireland. (See Anderson's History of Saratoga.) 
The inscription on the stone over the grave of Michael McDonald on 
the west bank of Ballston Lake verifies this fact. 

188 THE McCarthys 

The lease called for one-tentli of the produce as rental 
and the original parchment is now in the possession of 
Edwin D. Wilbur of Wilbur's Basin, a descendant of. 
John McCarty."26 

In the City of New York people of the name are men- 
tioned at various times. John McCarty was one of the 
early settlers of Essex County in the year 1764.^^ He 
was one of a number of pioneers brought there by Wil- 
liam Gilliland from the City of New York in that year.^^ 
Thomas McCarty was admitted a "Freeman" of New 
York by the City Council on August 4, 1769, and John 
McCarty was made a "Freeman" of the City on July 
23, 1784.-" "Cornelius McCarty, peruke-maker of New 
York," is so mentioned in Holt's New York Journal 
or General Advertiser for July 1, 1773, and in the New 
York Gazette and Weekly Mercury of August 16, 1773, 
Samuel Auchmuty advertised for sale the time of "an 
Irish servant man named James Carthy, about 16 years 
of age." Among a number of poor people who were 
compelled to leave New York in August, 1776, when the 
British army took possession of the City, and who went 
to Bedford, Westchester County, and applied to the 
Committee of Safety for relief, were three women named 
Mary McCarthy, Elizabeth Maguire and Sarah O'Far- 

2G From The Story of Old Saratoga,, by John Henry Brandow. 

27 Calendar of Land Papers at office of Secretary of State, compiled 
by O'Callaghan. 

28 Gilliland was a native of Armagh, Ireland. He had a most inter- 
esting career in New York, as schoolmaster, merchant, colonizer, and 
Revolutionary patriot. See Winslow's History of the Champlain Valley 
and Journal of the American Irish Historical Society, Vol. XIV, p. 231. 
Among those who accompanied Gilliland and McCarty from New York in 
their journey to Lake Champlain in 1764 were: 

Tliomas Carroll Michael Keough Daniel Moriarty 

Christopher Dongan Dennis Hall Peter Sullivan 

John Brady William McAuley Thomas McCauley 

Cornelius Hayes John Connelly John Sullivan 

29 See Collections of the New York Historical Society, volume for 1885. 

30 Journals of the N. Y. Provincial Congress, Vol. II, p. 339. 


In New York annals late in the eighteenth century 
are found references to three merchants of the name, 
who, according to all indications, ranked among the 
prominent business men of the time. Dennis McCarthy 
was in the wholesale grocery business and also conducted 
a number of retail stores, and Barrett says in his Old 
Merchants of New York '^ that he was the father-in-law 
of Dominick Lynch, one of the wealthiest merchants in 
New York in his day.^^ Dennis McCarthy was asso- 
ciated with Thomas Addis Emmet, Dr. William J. Mac- 
Neven and other refugees from Ireland after the Re- 
bellion of 1798, and he was also a member of the Hiber- 
nian Provident Society, organized in New York in the 
year 1801 for the purpose of aiding distressed Irish im- 
migrants, and which continued to exercise its benevo- 
lence for many years. He was an early member of the 
Society of the Friendly Sons of Saint Patrick and a 
New York newspaper described him as ''president of an 
association, a very numerous and highly respectable com- 
pany who celebrated the anniversary of Saint Patrick 
at the Shamrock Hall" on March 17, 1817.^=^ Barrett 
says that Dennis McCarthy was a very successful man 
and that for several years after his death his wealth was 
the subject of litigation among his relatives in the New 
York courts. 

Peter McCarty was one of the firm of ''Peter McCarty 
and Company," merchants and vendue masters at 121 
"Water Street, which firm continued in business up to 
the middle of the last century. The time of his arrival 
here is unknown, but, that it was at an early date is 
shown by the record of his marriage in New York to 

31 Vol. II, p. 242, and Vol. IV, p. 56. 

32 Dominick Lynch was a native of Galway, Ireland. 

33 The New York Columbian, March 18, 1817. 

190 THE McCarthys 

Ann Kean on March 16, 1762.^* Barrett speaks of him 
as "the father of a family of lovely daughters, one of 
whom, Augusta, married Jacob Little, one of the finan- 
cial pillars of New York."^^ Another Peter, whose 
name is spelled frequently in the public records "Mc- 
Cartee," and whose descendants continued to use that 
form of the name, is also mentioned by Barrett as "a 
famed Swamp man in his day, ' ' ^^ that is, he was a 
leather merchant in the district then and still known as 
"The Swamp." He also was very successful and as 
late as 1815 he was an Alderman of the City of New 
York. Robert McCartee, who was bom in New York 
in 1791, doubtless was his son. Originally, he was a 
lawyer but became a clergyman and in 1822 he is men- 
tioned as "pastor of the Irish Presbyterian Church," 
whose congregation at that time was comprised mostly 
of Presbyterian immigrants from Ireland, and accord- 
ing to an account of his career,^^ he seems to have been 
a verv^ prominent clergyman in his day. His son, Dr. 
D. B. McCartee, was a noted Oriental scholar. He was 
a practicing physician in New York, but in 1843 he went 
to China and was United States Consul at Ningpo and 
was also Judge of the "mixed court" at Shanghai. He 
had a remarkable career in China and Japan and at one 
time was a professor in the Imperial University at Tokio, 
and was Secretary of the Chinese Legation there. His 
writings on Asiatic history, linguistics, natural science, 
medicine and politics in the publications of the American 
Geographical Society, the American Oriental Society and 
other associations have been numerous and valuable. 

34 Marriage Licenses recorded at office of the Secretary of State, Vol. 
IV, p. 75. 

sa Old Merchants of New York; Vol. IV, p. 244. 

36 Ibid., Vol. I, p. 260. 

37 In Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography; Vol. IV, p. 77. 


His religious writings in Chinese are still widely cir- 
culated and read.^^ 

Charles McCarthy was also one of New York's mer- 
chants in the early years of the last century, but, that he 
was a resident of the City before that time is indicated 
by his marriage to Deborah Hutchings on April 5, 
1794,^'' and in 1805 he is mentioned as a member of the 
Society of the Friendly Sons of Saint Patrick. The 
names of several other McCarthys appear in the early 
Directories of the City of New York, and in the Direc- 
tory of the year 1801 William McCarty is listed as 
"United States Consul to the Isle of France." 

One of the leading American lawyers of his day in 
the early part of the last century was Samuel Nelson, 
who was born in Washington County, N. Y. He was 
the son of John Rogers Neilson ^'^ and Jane McCartee, 
his wife, both natives of Ireland who, in 1760, came 
with a colony of Irish immigrants from County Monag- 
han and settled in the town of Salem, Washington 
County. In 1823, Samuel Nelson was appointed Circuit 
Judge; a few years later he was Associate Judge, and 
in 1831 he became Chief Justice of the New York Su- 
preme Court. In 1845 he became a Justice of the Su- 
preme Court of the United States and resigned twenty- 
five years later on account of his great age. He was 
a very eminent jurist and adjudicated upon many of 
the most difficult questions of national and constitutional 

Among "Heads of Families" in Montgomery County, 

38 76td., Vol. IV. 

39 New York Weekly Museum. 

40 Tlie name was changed to Nelson by his children. The Irish name, 
Neilson, is a corniption of O'Neill or MacNeill. One of the Neilsons, 
Samuel, was the founder of the Society of United Irishmen in 1791. 

41 See account of his career in New York Genealogical and Biographical 
Record; Vol. V., p. 46. 

192 THE McCarthys 

in the First Census of the United States (1790), John, 
George, Michael and Timothy McCarthy are listed, and 
John McCarty is referred to in 1793 as an Adjutant 
in Veeder's brigade of Montgomery County militia. 
The "Minutes of the Council of Appointment" in the 
records at Albany show that John McCarthy, who is 
therein described as "Brigade Major and Inspector of 
Militia," was appointed "first Judge" on March 6, 
1809, and a New York weekly newspaper *- in the year 
1811 referred to "John McCarty, the first Judge of 
the Court of Common Pleas for the County of Mont- 
gomery." There is no mention of any of these Mc- 
Carthys in histories of Montgomery County, and en- 
quiries addressed to people acquainted with local his- 
tory and tradition bring forth no reliable information. 
Among others enumerated as "Heads of Families" in 
the Census of 1790, are : Jeremiah McCarthey and Dan- 
iel McCarty, both of the town of StephentowTi, Darbin 
(Darby) McCarty of Rensselaerwyck, David McCarty 
of Watervliet, Dennis McCarty of Hoosick, John Mc- 
Carty of Saratoga, Neil McCarty of Duanesburgh, and 
William McCarty of Ballston, all in Albany County 
as then constituted. Others listed by the Census enu- 
merators as "Heads of Families" were Daniel McCarty 
of Beekman, Dutchess County; Charles McCarty of 
Canaan, Columbia County; John McCarty of Claverack 
in the same County; John McCarty of Kingston, Ulster 
County; John McCarty of Middletown, Ulster County, 
and Thomas McCarty of New Cornwall, Orange County. 
One of the best known citizens of Orleans County, 
N. Y., during the first decade of the last century was a 
Captain McCarty. "When the second war with England 
began the citizens of the town of Gaines assembled and 

42 The Shamrock, 


elected McCarty to lead them in their defense of the 
settlements and he is listed among the American officers 
taken prisoner at the battle of Queenston on October 
27, 1812/^ He was released in exchange for an English 
officer and it is evident he rejoined his comrades, since 
he is noted for his daring capture of the British soldiers 
who burned the town of Lewiston in December, 1813. A 
New York soldier of the name who fought at Lewiston 
was William McCarthy, who enlisted at Utica in the 
Sixth regiment of United States Infantry and he is men- 
tioned among the wounded in the hospital at Lewiston 
in 1813.-* Another William McCarthy served as Cap- 
tain in a volunteer corps of three companies organized 
in New York City for the War of 1812, as appears from 
an order dated ''Headquarters, New York, 17th. day, 
November, 1812." Still another of the New York Mc- 
Carthys, Charles, is mentioned among the "Americans 
imprisoned at Halifax in the War of 1812. ' ' He served 
as a seaman on the privateer. Science, when captured 
by the English warship. Emulous, on August 24, 1812. 
In the years 1683 and 1685 a considerable body of 
Irish settlers located at Cohansey in Salem County, and 
in the adjoining counties of Gloucester and Camden, 
New Jersey, among whom were people bearing such 
names as Carty or McCarthy, Sullivan, Sweeney, Fitz- 
gerald, Leahey, Hurley, Healy, Lynch, Dunn, Conron, 
Caffrey, Flanagan, Dwyer, O'Donoghue, and so on. In 
the "West Jersey Records"*^ they are described as 
"from Tipperary County in Ireland," but, that it would 
appear some were also from Waterford, or that other 
colonists afterwards came from that part of Ireland, is 
seen from the fact that one of the oldest towns in this 

43 See Oenealoaical Exchange, Vol. X, p. 79. 

44 Ihid., Vol. V, p. 8. 

45 Liber B, part 2, published by the New Jersey Historical Society. 

194 THE McCarthys 

part of New Jersey, Waterford in Gloucester County, 
was so named in the year 1695 after the City of the 
same name in Ireland.*^ 

In the "East Jersey Records of Deeds," ^^ under date 
of December 21, 1696, there is an entry of a conveyance 
from "Tege alias Timothie Cartie to John Molleson, 
both of Piscataway, for five acres of meadow land," and 
in a deed for certain lands adjoining his, dated June 
27, 1694, he is described as "Tege Cartee." It would 
appear, however, that a family of the name was in 
New Jersey even before this time. John McCarty and 
Ann Harmon of "Woodbridge, N. J., were granted a mar- 
riage license by the Province of New York on July 9, 
1684, and although the license was recorded in New 
York it is evident that the bridegroom was a resident 
of New Jersey, since he is described in the record as 
"John Mccarty of Piscataway."** Dennis McCarty 
signed as witness to the will of Matthias Lane of Middle- 
town, Monmouth County, N. J., on June 27, 1729,*^ and 
in the accounts of the executors, Cornelius Lane and 
C. Scank, as filed in court, the name of Daniel McCarthy 
appears among a number of creditors of the estate. 
Daniel McCarthy is also mentioned in the New Jersey 
Archives ^^ in "an account of money paid from the 
estate of John and Ann Gordon." There is no reference 
to the date, but it follows an entry of the year 1729. 

"Dennis McCarthy of the Town and County of Bur- 
lington, Yeoman," died intestate and on August 6, 1737, 
letters of administration to his estate ^^ were granted to 

46 Reminiscences of Old Gloucester, by Isaac Mickle. 

47 Liber F., p. 245, published as part of the Archives of New Jersey 
by the N. J. Hist. Soc. 

48 Colonial Manuscripts of New York; Vol. 34, p. 28. 

■i9 New Jersey Calendar of Wills; Lib. B, fol. 214, in New Jersey 
Archives; 1st Ser. Vol. 23. 

50 1st Ser., Vol. 23. 

51 New Jersey Probate Records, Lib. IV, p. 110. 


his brother-in-law, Benjamin Butterworth, whose mar- 
riage to Ann McCarthy, sister of Dennis, is on record 
at Burlington under date of January 18, 1736. There 
is a place called McCartyville in Burlington County, 
noted for many years for its extensive paper mills, which 
in all probability was named for a descendant of Dennis 
McCarthy. Another Dennis McCarthy signed as wit- 
ness to the will of Thomas Wright of Salem County on 
January 11, 1745,^^ and the inventory of the estate of 
Stacey Beakes of Trenton, dated November 30, 1745, 
mentioned the "obligations of Archabel McCarty," and 
"Archibald McCarty 's account" was filed in court on 
March 11, 1755.^^ 

"Dennis McCarty of Gloucester County" died in- 
testate, and "John McCarty of Gloucester County, Yeo- 
man," was appointed administrator on March 19, 1746, 
and his valuation of the property of the deceased was 
fixed at £41. Os. 9d.^* In the accounts rendered by the 
administrator of the estate of Benjamin Runion of Som- 
erset County — letters of administration granted March 
3, 1747 — Daniel McCartey was mentioned. Thomas 
Bates was granted letters of administration to the estate 
of Owen McCarty of Gloucester County ^^ on May 6, 
1748, and in the inventory he valued the estate at £20. 
3s. Od. The will of Burgess Hall of Bordentown was 
dated September 27, 1748, and among those indebted 
to the deceased, as shown by the accounts of the executor, 
were Matthew McCarty and Oliver Carty.^^ In the 
inventory of the estate of George Williams of Shrews- 
bury, filed in Monmouth County Court on June 12, 

52 New Jersey Probate Records, Lib. V, p. 182. 

53 Ibid., Lib. V, p. 264. 

54 Gloucester Wills, 336 H. 

55 Ibid., 336 H. 

56 New Jersey Calendar of WUls; Lib. VI, p. 313. 

196 THE McCarthys 

1751, James McCarty is included among a number of 
debtors and creditors of the deceased.^^ It is clear from 
these items, and from the entries covering "New Jersey- 
Marriage Licenses" in the 'Archives of the State, be- 
ginning as early as 1733, that there were several separate 
and distinct families of the name in the Western part 
of New Jersey at this early period ; but, as to the history 
of these people, there seems to be no way of determining 
now and all efforts to secure further data have been 

James McCarty is mentioned in the Pennsylvania Ga- 
zette of June 8, 1758, as a settler at Minnisink, Sussex 
County, and according to the Pennsylvania Chronicle 
of March 13-20, 1769, ''Hugh McCarty, an Irish serv- 
ant lad, about 19 years of age," was apprenticed to 
"Thomas Thorn of Chesterfield Township, West-New- 
Jersey. ' ' 

Others of the name are mentioned in the Revolution- 
ary records of New Jersey. For example, Dennis Mc- 
Carty was a Sussex County militiaman in 1775 and 
afterwards served in the Fourth Battalion, Second 
Establishment of State troops; Hugh McCarty served 
in a Somerset County militia regiment; another Hugh 
McCarty was a soldier in Captain Ten Eyck's company 
of the First Establishment of State troops and after- 
wards in the Continental Line; Isaac Carty was a ser- 
geant of the Second Battalion, Second Establishment; 
William Carty served in a Battalion of militia from 
Salem County and also in the Continental army, and 
among the men belonging to an Elizabeth, N. J., com- 
pany of militia who "enlisted as volunteers in order 
to take the ship Blue Mountain Valley on January 2, 

57 New Jersey Probate Records; Lib. D, p. 174. 


1776," was Thomas McCarty. Clark McCarty was 
"Forage Master of New Jersey troops" throughout the 
Revolution and John MeCartey was "Commissary of 
Hides and Assistant Commissary of Issues" in the New 
Jersey Line. These items show that the McCarthys 
were settled in widely separated parts of New Jersey be- 
fore and during the period of the Revolution. "Fran- 
cis McCarthy, son of Captain Francis McCarthy," is 
mentioned in the Parish Church records of Rockaway, 
Morris County, N. J., in 1781. Evidently, the elder 
McCarthy was a sea-captain, since the records say he 
was ' ' lost at sea. ' ' 

Several soldiers of the name appear in the muster- 
rolls of the New Jersey regiments in the War of 1812, 
among them Artis or Arthur McCarthy, whose regiment 
is not stated; Aaron McCarthy, of the First Light 
Dragoons ; Aaron McCarty of the New Jersey Corps of 
Artillery and Michael McCarty of the 2nd New Jersey 
Detailed Militia. Thomas Carty enlisted in the 3rd Ar- 
tillery and Isaac Carty served in Capt. Anthony Gale's 
New Jersey Detachment, and afterwards on the Amer- 
ican frigate Chieriere until the close of the war. And 
in -the war with Algiers in 1815, Isaac Carty also served 
on the Gueriere under Lieutenant Joseph L. Kulin and 
was discharged at Boston in 1819 upon the expiration 
of his term of service. For some strange reason that 
does not appear, one of the New Jersey McCartys seems 
to have been untrue to his name and race, since the name 
of Duncan McCarty is included in a list of twenty-seven 
persons in Middlesex County, against whom "inquisi- 
tions were found in August, 1778, for having either 
joined the ai-my of the King of Great Britain or have 
otherwise offended against the form of their allegiance 

198 THE McCarthys 

to this State. "^^ Later, on February 1, 1779, Duncan 
McCarty's name appears in a list of persons in Middlesex 
County whose property was attainted. 

58 New Jersey Archives; 2nd Ser. Vol. II. 



The Celtic element in New England — Thaddeus MacCarty, a lead- 
ing merchant and property owner of Boston, 1664-1705, men- 
tioned frequently in the Provincial records — Captain Thomas 
MacCarty, mariner — Charles and Thomas MacCarty in the 
Kevolution in New England, 1689 — Adventurous career of 
Captain Thaddeus MacCarty — Rev. Thaddeus MacCarty of 
Worcester, a patriot of the Revolution — Florence MacCarty, a 
large proprety owner at Boston and Roxbury 

If the statements of New England historians, as to 
the racial origin of the early immigrants, were to be 
accepted without question, we would be compelled to 
believe that all of the inhabitants of that section of the 
country in the seventeenth century were of English blood 
and that at the time of the Revolution eighty-five per 
cent, of the population were of that class. Some his- 
torical writers assert that Massachusetts was "more Eng- 
lish than any English Shire," and that the people of 
Boston especially were "of purer English blood and 
more unmixed in race than those of any locality in old 
England." Whether these statements were made with 
deliberate intent to deceive, as has so often been said, 
or that they were the result of the failure of the his- 
torians to examine the records, is immaterial; the fact 
is, that while the majority of the inhabitants undoubt- 
edly were of English descent, a vast number of people 
of other races were resident in New England in Colonial 
times. This is amply proven by the names which are 

found in the records of the time. 



As to the Celtic element in New England, it is true 
that the social and political conditions in Colonial days 
were a serious deterrent to the settlement of immigrants 
from Ireland, especially those of Catholic faith; but, 
notwithstanding this, a great number of names of the 
most distinctive and obvious Irish origin appear in the 
seventeenth and eighteenth centurj^ records of nearly 
all the towns and settlements in the Colony of Massa- 
chusetts Bay. The old Celtic patronj-mics are readily 
recognizable, and there can be no mistaking the nation- 
ality of the people who bore such names. It may rea- 
sonably be supposed that the majority of these people 
were "redemptioners" or "servants" who were forced 
into exile by the alien rulers of the "Old Land"; yet, 
some of these, or their children, in time rose above their 
lowly surroundings and are numbered among the sub- 
stantial people of their respective localities. But, others 
unquestionably were voluntary expatriates who crossed 
the sea at their own expense, on the chance that the 
conditions in the colonies, even among those who de- 
spised the Irish on account of their race and religion, 
could be no worse than they were at home. Among both 
classes we find a number of McCarthys. 

The first of the family at Boston seems to have been 
Thaddeus MacCarty, whose name found a place in the 
town records more than two and a half centuries ago. 
When the will of Elkanah Gladman, merchant of Boston, 
dated February 8, 1664, was filed in Suffolk County 
court house on November 23, 1664, the inventory in- 
cluded "Thaddeus Macartye" as one of a number of 
persons indebted to the estate.^ In the Granary Burial 
Ground on Tremont Street, Boston, there is a stone over 

1 Probate records of Suffolk County, quoted in New England Historic- 
Oenealogical Register; Vol. 16, p. 50. 


the grave of Charles, the eldest son of Thaddeus Mae- 
Carty, the inscription on which reads as follows : 

"Vive Memor Lethi 

Here lyeth Interr'd ye Body of 

Charles Maecarty 

Son of Thadeus and Elizabeth Maecarty 

aged 18 years, wanting 7 days. Deceased 

ye 25 of October 1683" 

In the town books of Boston there is an entry of the 
birth, on March 21, 1666, of "Francis, son of Thaddeus 
and Eliza MacCarty," and of Thaddeus, son of the same 
parents, on September 12, 1670. They also had a son 
named Samuel, recorded as born at Roxbury, "9th. mo. 
8rd. day, 1675," and two daughters born at Boston, Mar- 
garet MacCarty on February 25, 1676, and Catherine 
MacCarty on January 23, 1679. 

"Thaddeus Macartie" appears among the "officers 
chosen for the year insuinge at a publique meetinge 
of the inhabitants of this towne" held on March 13, 
1674.2 As "Thade Maecarty" he is recorded as "Town 
Constable of Boston" in 1683, while in a record of a 
lawsuit, in which Ephraim Turner was the plaintiff, 
tried before the "Court of Assistants of the Colony of 
Massachusetts Bay," in the year 1680, the name of the 
defendant is written down "thaddews micarter." On 
this matter of the spelling of names, in New England 
annals there are many curious examples of the orto- 
graphical ideas of the custodians of public records, and 
there is no more striking illustration of this than the 
case of Thaddeus MacCarty. The spelling of names 
in those days was not regarded as a matter of any im- 
portance and it is amusing to note the vicissitudes which 

2 Boston Town Books, Vol. VII, p. 86. 

202 THE McCarthys 

certain names had to undergo from the whims of clergy- 
men, town officers, court clerks, registrars of wills and 
deeds and other keepers of public records. This is espe- 
cially noticeable in the case of Irish names. The public 
officials generally were of English or Dutch descent, and 
as many of the Irish names sounded strangely in their 
ears and the newcomers used the old Gaelic pronouncia- 
tion, the town clerks and others wrote them down phonet- 
ically or as best suited their fancy, which often resulted 
in the most ludicrous name formations, and cases are 
noted where the recorded name bore hardly any resem- 
blance to the original. In the pursuit of historical re- 
search, the caprices of town clerks and other officials 
in their manner of spelling names are often a source 
of trouble and vexation. And to a person acquainted 
with the ancient Gaelic nomenclature, it is really tragical 
to see the way in which historic Irish patronymics were 
literally "butchered" in the records, especially when we 
consider that in most cases the descendants of these 
people accepted and used the changed names. 

In the Boston tax lists of the year 1674, among the 
"names of psons ratable"^ as certified to by Thomas 
Bingley, Constable, there is an entry reading ' ' Tad Me- 
cartour," and in still another list, "Theodeus Mecarter" 
and "John Stacey, his (Maccartys) servant."" In an- 
other part of the same record there is an entry reading : 
"Mr. Carroll at Micarter's," ^ the explanation of this 
being that "Mr. Carroll," the person assessed for taxes, 
was a "lodger" at Thaddeus MacCarty's house. In the 
tax lists of 1676 he is recorded as "Thaddeus Macartie"; 
in 1681, "Thadeus Macktie"; in 1683, "Thade Ma- 
carty"; in 1687, "Thadeus Macarty"; in 1688, "Thad- 

8 Boston tax lists, in Town Books, Vol. I, p. 43. 
4 Ibid., p. 47. 
6jbid., p. 7a. 


deus Mockarty"; in 1691, "Thadeos Macarty"; in 1692, 
"thadews micarty," and in 1695, "Thaddeus Mac- 
Karta." After that time the recording clerks invaria- 
bly wrote down the name ' ' Maccarty, ' ' although in later 
years some of Thaddeus' descendants spelled their name 
''Maccarity" and "Meearte," doubtless because it was 
written in that way in public records and probably they 
wished to preserve the spelling so as to conform to wills 
and deeds and other legal instruments. A glance at the 
tax records for the year 1687 indicates that, at that early 
day, Thaddeus MacCarty was a fairly substantial man. 
In that year there were only sixty-two persons in Bos- 
ton who were taxed £50. or over; the average tax per 
person was £69. and the amount assessed against Mac- 
Carty was £20. for his house and £30. for his business, 
or £50. in all.« 

As far as time would permit, I have searched for 
some information concerning the early life of Thaddeus 
MacCarty, but without success, and while he is men- 
tioned by several historians and genealogists of Massa- 
chusetts none of them offer any suggestion as to his 
antecedents, his place of birth or the time of his arrival 
in the colonies. Naturally, I assume that he was a na- 
tive of Ireland and I hardly think there can be any 
doubt about it. A statement by Mr. James Savage, a 
former president of the New England Historic and 
Genealogical Society, that he was bom in the year 
1640 ^' is confirmed by a notice of his death in the Boston 
News-Letter in 1705, and by the inscription on his tomb- 
stone in the Granary Burial Ground, and while it is 
evident that Savage also was unable to find trace of his 

6 List of Taxables in Memorial History of Boston, by Justin Winsor; 
Vol. II, pp. 7-8. 

7 Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England, by 
James Savage; Vol. Ill, p. 139, 

204 THE McCarthys 

early life and antecedents, I do not think, in view of 
the obviously Celtic origin of the name, that he was 
justified in saying that "the Maccartys are of unknown 
descent. ' ' ® However, Savage may not have intended 
to say that the MacCartys are not of Irish descent, but 
that the immediate forebears of the Boston pioneer were 
unknown or could not be traced. 

Strange to say, Thaddeus MacCarty is not mentioned 
at all where one would naturally expect to find him. It 
is true that Savage mentions him, but with scant re- 
spect, since he dismisses him with a few lines, and 
Justin Winsor also seems to have regarded him as of no 
importance, for in his great work of more than 2500 
pages he fails to give him even casual notice, and the 
only appearance of his name in Winsor 's History of 
Boston is when it is included in lists of other early resi- 
dents of the town, from which it could not very well be 
eliminated. Nor does the name appear among the "Pio- 
neers of Massachusetts" in the elaborate work under 
that title written by the New England historian. Rev. 
Charles Henry Pope, and although some of Thaddeus' 
descendants are mentioned in the genealogies of several 
of the pioneer families of Massachusetts with which they 
were connected by marriage, no member of the MacCarty 
family in New England seems to have had sufficient 
pride in their history to "write up" their genealogy. 

My judgment is that the progenitor of the original 
MacCarty families in Massachusetts was Thaddeus of 
Boston, and it is highly probable that he came to this 
country in one of the many ship-loads of Irish "re- 
demptioneTs ' ' who were transported from Ireland in the 
middle of the seventeenth century. While such records 

8 Jbid, 


as those of the General Court, the Court of Assistants 
of the Colony of Massachusetts Bay, the Plymouth 
Colony records, early land grants, town books, etc., con- 
tain references to many of those Irish "redemptioners," 
only comparatively few of them are mentioned by name, 
and among these Thaddeus MacCarty does not appear. 
Nor is there any entry of his marriage in the records of 
marriages solemnized in the town of Boston. 

It is seen that at the time his name first appears in 
Massachusetts records (1664) he was twenty-four years 
old, and it is probable he married in that year, since 
his first child was born in 1665. Prendergast ^ has shown 
from English and Irish records that a great number of 
boys and girls of tender age and many of them of the 
best families were transported from Ireland to the Colo- 
nies during the period, 1651 to 1655, so that it is possible 
Thaddeus MacCarty was a resident of Boston before 
1664. If he came to this country as a " redemptioner " 
and had to work his way up from that lowly station, he 
must have been a youth of uncommon attainments for 
the time, since it appears that he was established as a 
"shopkeeper" at Boston at the age of twenty-five, and 
there is no indication of his having been at any time in 
' ' service ' ' or that his business was carried on in partner- 
ship with any other person. When an immigrant of 
his name and race could achieve such success in busi- 
ness as to own his own sailing ships, and he appears side 
by side with other historic characters of the time, we 
can well imagine that the position occupied by Thaddeus 
MacCarty in the town of Boston was one of no small 

However, it may be an error to assume that either 

9 Cromwellian Settlement of Ireland. 

206 THE McCarthys 

Thaddeus, or the Florence MacCarty hereinafter re- 
ferred to, was of the "redemptioner" class, for it is 
observed that some of the noted families of McCartys 
who were in Virginia at this time also bore the Christian 
names, Thaddeus and Florence, and it is probable that 
the Massachusetts and Virginia McCartys were of the 
same immediate family in Ireland. Irish histories and 
genealogical works show how very popular these names 
were among the MacCarthys of the direct line of descent 
from the great MacCarthy family of Munster, and as we 
know that the Virginia branches were descended from 
the MacCarthys of Cork and Kerry, it may not be assum- 
ing too much to say that Thaddeus and Florence of 
Boston were natives of some part of the County of Cork 
or Kerry. And, in this connection, it is also noted from 
the will of Charles McCarthy of East Greenwich, R. I., 
dated February 18, 1682, that he was a native of Kin- 
sale in the County of Cork.^° 

The fact that Thaddeus of Boston, in his later years 
used as his seal the arms and crest which were an exact 
counterpart of the coat of arms of the Earl of Clan- 
earthy, in itself indicates that he was descended from 
that noble family. This information I have obtained 
from the New England Historic-Genealogical Society, 
which published an account of the ''Seals from the 
Jeffries Collection of Manuscripts"^^ in the possession 
of the descendants of David Jeffries, for many years 
Treasurer of the City of Boston in the eighteenth cen- 
tury. This collection shows that Thaddeus MacCarty 
used in his seal the arms and crest of the MacCarthy 
family of Ireland in the direct line from MacCarthy 

10 See page 267. ii Vol. 31. 


Arms: arg. a stag trippant. 

Crest: an arm erect grasping a sword impaling a lizard. 

Motto: Forti et fideli nihil difficile?-^ 

But, whether Thaddeus MacCarty's advent in Amer- 
ica was in the modest role of a " servant ' ' to some Puri- 
tan planter, or that he came over as *'a gentleman emi- 
grant of means, ' ' as some few of the Irish settlers about 
this time are described, seems immaterial, for his name 
alone warrants our including him among the pioneer 
Irishmen of New England. He appears with such fre- 
quency in Massachusetts records of the last quarter of 
the seventeenth century, especially in connection with 
deeds and conveyances of real estate, that I must assume 
he was one of the leading business men of his day in 
the town of Boston. And in support of that assump- 
tion, I find from the Collections of the Massachusetts 
Historical Society ^^ that in the year 1691 ''Mr. Thomas 
Brindley and Mr. Thaddeus MacCarty of Boston" acted 
as "sureties on the bond of John Usher,^* Treasurer of 
New England." The amount of security is not named, 
but, the fact of his selection as bondsman for so im- 
portant an official stamps him as a man of considerable 
prominence and substance. 

In Robert N. Toppan's account of Edmund Ran- 
dolph,^^ Thaddeus MacCarty is mentioned several times, 
and among the documents reproduced in this great work 
there is a letter dated June 7, 1684, to Edmund Ran- 
dolph, signed by Joseph Dudley and Thaddeus "Mae- 
Karty." This letter may also be found in the Collec- 

12 Another branch of the family had as its motto: Ex arduis perpetuum 
momen, and still another branch : Fortis ferox et celer. 

13 4th. Ser., Vol. II, p. 304. 

14 This John Usher was of the same family as the celebrated Arch- 
bishop Usher. 

15 Published by the Prince Society of Boston, in seven volumes. 

208 THE McCarthys 

tions of the Massachusetts Historical Society,^" and al- 
though it is clear that it referred to a suit at law in 
which the government of the Colony was a party, there 
is nothing to indicate why MacCarty signed it ; but, the 
mere fact that he joined Dudley as a signatory strength- 
ens the assumption that Thaddeus MacCarty was one of 
the important men of his day in New England. While 
the signature is spelled "MacKarty," it is noted that 
Thaddeus signed his will twenty-one years later "Mac- 
Carty." Randolph and Dudley both occupied impor- 
tant posts in the Colonial Government. Randolph was 
Surveyor-General of Massachusetts, and Dudley was 
Commissioner of the United Colonies, 1677 to 1681 ; 
Agent to England, 1682; President of New England, 
1684; Chief Justice, 1687; Chief Justice of New York, 
1690 to 1693 ; and Governor of Massachusetts from 1702 
to 1705. 

A further indication that this American Irishman 
must have occupied a prominent station in Boston's 
early days is the fact that, in conjunction with four 
other citizens of the town, he is mentioned by th*^ famous 
Governor Thomas Dongan ^^ of New York in a leiter to 
the "Lord President," dated "N. Y. September ye 18th. 
1685,"^* as well as in a similar communication from 
Matthew Plowman of New York to Edmund Randolph 
of Boston, dated November 9, 1688.^^ And, as an evi- 
dence that his business transactions carried him far 
afield, "Thaddeus MacCarty of Boston" is mentioned 
in New York records under date of October 7, 1677, in 

16 4th. Ser., Vol. VIII, p. 484. 

1" Governor Dongan was a native of Castletown, County Kildare, 
Ireland. After his return from America he succeeded to the title and 
estates of his father, the Earl of Limerick. 

IS Colonial Manuscripts of New York; Vol. Ill, p. 365. 

19 Toppan's Edmund Randolph; Vol. IV, p. 252. 



connection with the settlement of certain accounts with 
parties in the Province of New York.-" 

Among the transactions in which he appears is that 
of "Surety to the Towne for Benjamin Smeade, bel- 
lowes maker, and his family" on September 25, 1682, 
and on September 25, 1683, he and Samuel Shrimpton 
became ' ' Sureties to the Towne for Samuel Boulter, Tay 
and his family. "^^ On October 1, 1683, he acted as 
surety on a bond of £100 given by Robert Mason and 
William Barefoote "for the proper administration of 
the estate of Sylvester Herbert of Great Island," ^^ 
and on August 18, 1686, one William Ardell executed 
a conveyance to Thaddeus MacKarty covering "the 
Ketch Rose then on a voyage to Barbados, and one-half 
of the pink. Blessing, then on a voyage to Holland. ' ' ^^ 
Thomas Brattle, Treasurer of the Town of Boston, exe- 
cuted a deed to Thaddeus MacCarty on July 20, 1694,2^ 
and William Mumford and wife conveyed lands and 
buildings in Boston to Thaddeus MacKarty by deed 
dated July 23, 1697.-*' On March 5, 1701, according 
to the records of the General Court of the Colony of 
Massachusetts Bay, Thaddeus MacCarty signed a "peti- 
tion for a bankrupt law," with forty-four other per- 
sons in Boston.-^ 

He seems to have owned much land and house prop- 
erty in Boston and vicinity and also was part owner 
of lands along the Merrimack River, in what is now 

20 Calendar of Historical Manuscripts, in office of Secretary of State, 
ed. by Edmund B. O'Callaghan. 

21 This was Colonel Samuel Shrimpton, a prominent and wealthy mer- 
chant of Boston, owner of Noddle's Island, now East Boston, which he 
purchased in 1670. 

22 Boston Town Books. 

23 Provincial Papers of New Hampshire. 

24 Suffolk Deeds, Vol. 14, fol. 26. ' 

25 Ibid., Vol. 16, fol. 378. 

26 Ibid., Vol. 14, fol. 371. 

27 History of Boston, by Samuel G. Drake; p. 518. 

210 THE McCarthys 

the State of New Hampshire, in the vicinity of Law- 
rence and Lowell. One of the largest land transactions 
in which his name figures was a tract laid out on the 
Merrimack for prospective settlers about the year 1687. 
In the New Hampshire State Papers ^^ there is a copy of 
a deed dated April 15, 1686, by which "Thaddeus Mac- 
Carty of Boston, Merchant, with John Usher and Charles 
Lidgett, also Merchants of Boston," purchased from 
"Robert Tufton Mason, Proprietor of the Province of 
New Hampshire," a tract of land described as ''lying 
and being on ye Westerly side of the River of Merri- 
mack, beginning at the East End of Souhegennock River 
where the same issues into Merrimack aforesaid, and 
thence running up Westward along the s^ Sou River 
six English miles and a half," etc. This deed was re- 
corded in the Registry of Deeds of Suffolk County on 
November 10, 1686.29 

Among the "persons in Boston who took the Oath of 
Allegiance administered by Gouvernour John Leverett 
on November 11, 1678, ' ' were Thaddeus MacKarty, Jere- 
miah Conoway, John Dowgin, Richard Talley, Phillip 
Mullen, John Mackemoryn, Michael Dalton, Samuel 
Kelly, John Couney, Dennis MackDaniel, Thomas Heam, 
Thomas Sexton, Cornelius White and Matthew Collins, 
and it is also of interest to note that on April 21, 1679, 
Governor Samuel Bradstreet administered the oath to 
Bryan Murphey, Bartholomew Sutton, John Gill, Wil- 
liam Dempsey and John Casey. On the same date 
Jonathan Casey, Samuel and William Garey, and Peter 
O 'Kelly also took the oath at Roxbury and William 
MackKenny and John Mackanah at Hingham, Mass. 

28 Vol. 29, pp. 138-141. 

29 Liber I, pp. 27-32. 

30 Boston Town Books, Vol. 29. 



I should not be surprised if the majority of these were 

Many references to Thaddeus MacCarty are found in 
the ''Annals of King's Chapel," Boston, and in the 
history of "The Military Company of the Massachu- 
setts," now known as the Ancient and Honorable Ar- 
tillery Company. In fact, he was one of the founders 
of King's Chapel and was present at its first meeting 
on June 15, 1686,3i ^^^ ^^^^j. ^j^te of March 24, 1688, 
the following "warrant" by Governor Edmund Andros 
appears in the Massachusetts records: "Pursuant to a 
Resolve in Council, I hereby appoint and authorize you, 
Captain Anthony Howard, Captain "William White and 
Mr. Thaddeus MacKarty, to ask and receive the free 
and voluntary contributions of any of the Inhabitants 
of the Town of Boston towards the building and erect- 
ing of a House or Place for the service of the Church 
of England." ^^ His name is spelled in the church 
records "Maccartie," "MacKerty" and "Mackarty," 
according to the ortographical ideas of the different 
Ministers. In 1689, we find him subscribing the sum 
of £7. 10s. toward the church funds and on "Wednesday, 
8th. Aprill, 1694, being Easter week, at a ilieeting then 
held, Mr. Thaddeus MacKarty and Francis Foxcroft 
were elected Church Wardens for ye Yeare ensuing. ' ' ^^ 
Both were reelected on March 26, 1695, and in 1699, 
1703 and 1705 Thaddeus was a Vestryman of the parish. 
Thaddeus MacCarty is mentioned in the records of the 
Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company among "the 
new members recruited, 1681-2,"^* as well as another 

31 Annals of King's Chapel, by Henry Wilder Foote; Vol. I, p. 76. 

32 The Andros Tracts, published by Prince Society, Boston; Vol. II, 
p. 45; Boston, 1869. Also Massachusetts Historical Society Collections; 
3rd. Ser. Vol. I, p. 84. 

33 Annals of King's Chapel, Vol. I, p. 114. 

3i History of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company, by Oliver 
Ayer RoberU, Vol. I, p. 264 ; Boston, 18 . . 

212 THE McCarthys 

soldier named Charles MacCar-ty, who was "badly 
wounded in the expedition against Quebec in 1690." ^^ 
Thaddeus is described by the historian of the Artillery 
Company as "a shopkeeper" and as ''holding a town, 
office in Boston in 1674," and it is evident that he con- 
tinued as a member of "Captain Allan's Company" of 
the artillery, for several years, since "Thaddeus Mc- 
Cartei" is so mentioned in the Town Books under date 
of August 6, 1698.='*' 

He appears to have been interested at one time in 
some business enterprise with an Irishman named Ed- 
ward Mortimer, and both are mentioned in the "Journal 
of John Dunton, " " an Englishman who came to Massa- 
chusetts in 1685. In this "Journal" Dunton referred 
to several prominent persons in Boston whom he met, 
among them "Mr. Maccarty" and "Mr. Mortimer, who 
came from Ireland, an accomplished merchant, a person 
of great modesty who could answer the most abstruse 
points in algebra, navigation and dialling." There is 
no doubt that the "Mr. Maccarty" here referred to was 
Thaddeus. Edward Mortimer is mentioned in the Town 
Books of Boston of the year 1678 as "an Irishman" and 
as a member of the fire engine company in that year, 
and his name appears in the Boston tax lists of the 
year 1695. 

The Boston News-Letter of June 18-25, 1705, con- 
tained this announcement: "On Monday the 18th. in- 
stant Dyed Mr. Thaddeus Maccarty of this Town, Mer- 
chant, aged 65 years." He was buried in the Granary 
Burial Ground at Boston, and in that ancient graveyard, 
where rest the remains of such historic figures in Amer- 

35 Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England, by 
James Savage; Vol. Ill, p. 139. 

36 Vol. 29, p. 2. 

37 Published by the Massachusetts Historical Society ; 2nd. Ser. Vol. II. 


ican history as John Hancock, Paul Revere, Peter Fan- 
euil, Samuel Adams, Robert Treat Paine, James Otis, 
Governor James Sullivan and many others, may be seen 
the grave of Thaddeus MacCarty and a stone bearing an 
inscription, reading: 

"Here Lyes ye Body of 

Thadeus Maccarty 

Aged 65 Years and 6 Months 

Desesed June ye 18, 1705" 

His will is recorded at the Registry of Probate for 
Suffolk County, Mass.^^ The document seems to be en- 
tirely in his own handwriting and probably was pre- 
pared by himself, and it is interesting not only as in- 
dicating that he was a religious person, but as an in- 
dication of the confidence he placed in his wife, to whom 
he bequeathed ''the residue and remainder of my real 
and personal estate . . . not doubting but she will take 
care prudently to manage and dispose of what shall 
remain for the best and utmost advantage of my chil- 
dren." The following is a verbatim copy of it, secured 
from the probate records: 

*'In the Name of God Amen I Thaddeus MacCarty of Boston 
in New England Shopkeeper being weak in Body but of Sound 
mind and disposing memory (thanks be therefore given to Al- 
mighty) Doe make this my last will and Testament as fol- 

"Imprimis I commit my Soul into the hands of my Almighty 
Creatour trusting through the merrits of my Saviour Christ 
to obtain the remission of my Sins; my body to the Earth to 
be decently and providently Interrd; and as for my wordly 
Estate after my Debts paid and funeral expences discharged 
I do hereby give, devise & bequeath unto my Dear and loveing 
Wife Elizabeth the residue and remainder of my real and 
personal Estate to her, her heires and assigns forever, not 

38 Vol. 16, p. 24. 

214 THE McCarthys 

doubting but she will take care prudently to mannage and dis- 
pose of what shall remain for the best and utmost advantage 
of my children. And I do hereby revoke all former Wills 
by me heretofore made and appoint my sd Wife to be Sole 
Executrix of this my last Will. 

"In Witness whereof I published the same and set to my 
hand and seal this Twenty fourth day of May Anno Domini 
Seventeen hundred and five. 

"Thaddeus MacCarty (seal) 
"Signed, Sealed published and declared by the Testator in 
presence of us "Christopher Ealby 

"William Crow 
"John Ballentine" 

• If further testimony were vs^anted in support of the 
statement that Thaddeus MacCarty was a person of im- 
portance among his tovmsmen, it is furnished to us by 
the signatories to the attestation clause of his will. 
Christopher Kilby was a Boston merchant and is men- 
tioned frequently in local records, and in all probability 
Kilby Street in Boston was named for him. William 
Crow was one of three committeemen who were ap- 
pointed in March, 1677, to distribute to the township 
of Plymouth its proportionate share of ' ' The Irish Dona- 
tion" of 1676, contributed by the people of Ireland 
"for the relieffe of such as are Impoverished, Distressed 
and in Necessitie by the late Indian War, ' ' ^^ John 
Ballentine was a Captain of the Artillery Company of 
which Thaddeus and Florence MacCarty were members, 
and a description of him says "he was a prominent man 
of affairs in Boston, which town he represented in 1726, 
and in the General Court of Massachusetts, ' ' ^° 

39 Old Colony Records in New England Historic-Genealogical Society's 
Register, Vol. II, pp. 245-250. The "Irish Donation," or "The Irish 
Charity" as it is also called in the Old Colony records, was sent from 
Ireland . to Boston in the ship Katherine, which sailed from Dublin on 
or about August 17, 1676. For accounts of this historic incident and 
its importance at the time to the people of New England, see Register 
above mentioned; also A Hidden Phase of American History, by the author. 

40 New England Historic-Genealogical Register, Vol. VI, p. 371. 


Thaddeus MacCarty's wife survived him and con- 
tinued to live in a brick house in Brattle Square, which 
the family had occupied for many years, but in a great 
fire in Boston on October 2, 1710, which threatened the 
destruction of the town, several houses in Brattle Square 
were ''blown up in order to stop the progress of the 
flames," among them that of Mrs. Elizabeth MacCarty. 
The owners petitioned the town for reimbursement for 
their losses, and at ''A meeting of Her Majesty's Jus- 
tices of the Town of Boston" on October 20, 1710, Mrs. 
MacCarty was ' ' allowed the Summe of Sixty pounds for 
the damage done to her, ' ' *^ After the building was 
repaired, it became known as ''the White House" *^ 
because it was painted white, and there is a record in 
the year 1711 showing that "Elizabeth, wife of Thad- 
deus MacKarty of Boston," sold to Arthur Savage 
"land on the westerly side of Brattle Square, Boston, 
with the house standing thereon." This house was the 
residence of Arthur Savage until his death in 1735, 
and in his will, dated December 10, 1733, he described 
it as his "Mansion House in Brattle Square," together 
with a house and land adjoining. It was afterwards 
occupied by William Bollan, son-in-law of Governor 
Shirley of Massachusetts, and subsequently by the fa- 
mous John Adams when he first removed to Boston from 

Mrs. Elizabeth MacCarty is mentioned in the Town 
Books of the year 1716 as a resident of Brattle Street, 
and her death seven years later at the age of eighty-two, 
was mentioned in this curious manner in the "Diary of 

41 Town Books, Vol. XI, p. 151. 

42 Oddly enough, when the Executive Mansion at Washington was re- 
paired and painted white after its partial destruction by the British in 
the year 1814, it became known popularly as "The White House." 

43 Life and Works of John Adams, Vol. I, p. 85. 

216 THE McCarthys 

Jeremiah Bumstead " ** of Boston under date of June 
8, 1723: "About ye 7 or 8 Day Mrs. Mecarty and her 
Daughter Catte dyed and buryed together on ye 10 
Day," and their graves may be seen in the Granary 
Burial Ground at Boston, with two separate tomb- 
stones bearing the names of Elizabeth and Katharine 
Maccarty. Under date of May 7, 1724, there is an entry 
in the Suffolk County probate records showing that 
Judge Samuel Sewall appointed Caleb Lymon, Jacob 
Royall and Benjamin Simpson, ''Commissioners with 
full power to receive and Examine all Claims of the 
Several Creditors of Elizabeth Maccarty, late of Boston, 
Widow, deceased," whose "estate is Represented to be 
Insolvent and not Sufficient to pay her just Debts." 
However, the records of Middlesex County indicate that 
three years later, or on July 31, 1727, Thaddeus Mac- 
Carty was granted letters of administration to "the 
estate of Mrs. Eliza Maccarty, late of Boston, died 
intestate. ' ' These letters were issued in connection with 
"some Lands in the County of Middlesex," which were 
"committed to Thaddeus Maccarty of said Boston, Mar- 
riner, and he hath given Bond in one Thousand Pounds 
with John Greenough of same place, Shipwright, 

There was a Thomas MacCarty of Boston, described 
as a "mariner," who in all probability was a relative 
of Thaddeus, but whose connection with that family I 
am unable to establish. Among the ' ' Letters of Samuel 
Sewall, ' ' *^ Judge of the Massachusetts General Court, 
is one dated "Xr. 23, 1695," in which he referred to 
"Captain Thomas Maccarty of Boston," and in a letter 
dated July 31, 1696, Sewall referred to the supposed 

44 In New England Historic-Genealogical Register, Vol. 15. 

45 In Massachusetts Historical Society Collections, 6th. Ser. Vol. I, 
p. 158, 


''death of Captain MacCarty, whose ship was said to 
have foundered at sea. ' ' However, the ' ' Diary of Sam- 
uel Sewall" mentions "Captain Thomas MacCarty" as 
at Boston in the year 1697. 

Besides this Thomas MacCarty, whose relationship, 
if any, to Thaddeus and Florence cannot be ascertained, 
it is clear there were other people of the name at Boston. 
The appended extracts from Massachusetts vital records 
show that in January, 1683, Mary MacCarty married 
Joseph Hunscot at Boston ; Elizabeth MacKarta married 
Thomas Bridgewater on April 7, 1696, and "Kathrane 
Maccarty" signed as witness to a bond dated November 
6, 1694, filed in the Bristol County Probate Court on be- 
half of Mary Davis and Phillip Taber, as administra- 
tors of the estate of Phillip Taber, deceased.*^ None 
of these are believed to have been daughters of Thaddeus 
or Florence and since the birth of neither Mary, Eliza- 
beth nor "Kathrane" MacCarty appears in the vital 
records, it may be that they were of the family of the 
mariner. Captain Thomas MacCarty, and that they came 
with him to this country from Ireland. However, 
among some old tomes on trade of the years 1696-1698 
on file in the State Archives, there are several bills 
covering purchases of goods by Thaddeus MacCarty, 
and one of these, dated October 14, 1697, bears an 
acknowledgment signed ''Mary Macarty" and a prom- 
ise by her to pay the amount to John Helden, Thad- 
deus MacCarty 's creditor. This indicates that she was 
some relation of Thaddeus. 

There are two Thomas MacCartys mentioned in Massa- 
chusetts records of this period, viz.— the Captain Thomas 
before alluded to and Thomas who was a student at 
Harvard College in the year 1689. In the New England 

46 The Mayflower Descendant; Vol. XVI, p. 229. 

218 THE McCarthys 

Historic-Genealogical Register '^'^ under the year 1691, 
there is a "List of Harvard Graduates" and among 
the names is Thomas Macearty, and in May, 1694, his 
name is included as a contributor in the sum of £2. 
toward a fund to purchase pews for Kings' Chapel.^^ 
Although I can find no record of his birth, I assume 
he was a son of Thomas MacCarty, the sea captain, since 
neither Thaddeus nor Florence had a son named Thomas. 
That Thomas MacCarty, Junior, was a spirited youth 
and took a forward part in the overthrow of the Andros 
government in the year 1689, known as ' ' The Revolution 
in New England," is clear from references to him that 
appear in histories of the event. Sir Edmund Andros 
had been "King's Deputy in the Province of New York" 
for several years, but in 1686 King James commissioned 
him "Governor of his Royal Dominion of New Eng- 
land," which included all the territory from the Dela- 
ware River to Nova Scotia, superseding Dongan, the 
famous Irish Governor of the Province of New York. 
On December 20, 1686, Andros arrived in Boston and 
assumed the government of the Province. 

In the History of the Colony of Massachusetts Bay, 
written by Thomas Hutchinson, Lieutenant-Governor of 
the Province, published at Boston in 1766, Andros is 
accused of "corruption in office" and his subordinates 
are charged with "extortion," with the levying of ex- 
cessive and unnecessary taxes and, having come to Massa- 
chusetts possessed of an inordinate "land hunger," they 
"put titles and property in jeopardy" by their illegal 
actions. Andros is also accused of arming the Indians, 
unfriendly to the English, who in 1688 had begun a new 
war against the English. A curious side light is thrown 

47 Vol. 32, p. 233. 

48Anno/» of King's Chapel, by Henry Wilder Foote; Vol. I. 


upon the occurrences of the time in a pamphlet printed 
at Boston in 1691,*^ entitled "The Revolution in New 
England Justified," by Edmund Rawson and Samuel 
Sewall, in which, among the testimony brought in at 
an investigation of the Andros government, there is 
included "the testimony of Joseph and Mary Graves 
and John Rutter, taken at Boston on January 28, 1689. ' ' 
These witnesses testified that they had been "informed 
by Solomon Thomas, an Indian," that "when the fight 
at the Eastward should be ... if the English get the 
day, in the Spring the French and Irish would come 
to Boston," which "was the first place to be destroyed 
and after that the country towns would be all won." 
Which shows that even to the American Indians the 
Irish people were not unknown ! 

The "Revolution in New England" took place in 
1689 and Andros and his subordinate officials were 
thrown into prison, but the Governor escaped and took 
refuge in Rhode Island. About this time Thomas Don- 
gan, the deposed Governor of New York, had gone to 
Rhode Island where his cousin, another Thomas Don- 
gan, or Dungan, a member of the Rhode Island As- 
sembly, resided, and it was suspected that Andros and 
the Dongans would try to effect a juncture with the 
Indians and place themselves again in power. Great 
alarm was felt as to what might happen, and when five 
young men from Boston turned up suddenly in New 
York Governor Leisler at once suspected them as emis- 
saries from Andros and that the dreaded Andros him- 
self was in the immediate vicinity. Whatever the na- 
ture of the enterprise was, the histories of the period 
do not disclose and there seems to be nothing on record 

49 Republished in 1793. See Force's Collections of Historical Tracts; 
Vol. IV. 

220 THE McCarthys 

concerning it; but, as a participant in it we find a 
spirited and adventurous member of the fighting race 
of McCarthy. Among the documents reproduced in 
Hutchinson's history there is a letter from Leisler, dated 
New York, September 3, 1689, to Governor Bradstreet 
of Massachusetts, in which he said: 

''The escape of Sir Edmund and his arrival at Rhode 
Island, where Colonel Dongan, did, the same day, land 
some of his people, and himself not far off, caused a 
jealousy in us of a bad design. In this interim of time 
arrived here Mr. John Emerson, John Leverett, William 
Brattle, Thomas McCarty and John Perry, from the 
ferry; after watch set in the night, well armed and as 
reported, went into a tavern, where doors and windows 
were shut, a man on horseback was despatched post out 
of the town, made us all believe them of Sir Edmund's 
people, and he himself not far off. I sent for the 
strangers, of whom I demanded a pass; they said they 
had one, but lost it ; they knew nobody but Major Brock- 
hoist and Captain Locker, two known papists, whereby 
I suspected them to be really of Sir Edmund's people 
and beat the drum." Leisler then related how he had 
his soldiers search the house where the strangers from 
Boston lodged, and finding from their letters and papers 
that they were " disapprovers of our actions," he 
"alarmed the town" and "got immediately 500 men 
courageously «.rmed, and while the committee read the 
letters, I sent out parties to search for strangers," etc. 
Leisler went on to say that, finding nothing "against 
their characters," he "released the said gentlemen." ^° 

A footnote in Hutchinson's work ^^ says "the first 
four persons named in Leisler 's letter (Emerson, Lev- 

50 The History of the Colony of Massachusetts Bay, by Thomas Hutch- 
inson ; Vol. I, p. 392; Boston, 1766. 

51 Ibid., p. 393. 


erett, Brattle and McCarty), belonged to the College 
at Cambridge." What became of Thomas MaeCarty 
and his companions in New York after their release is 
not related, but it is evident that they were permitted 
to return to Boston, since MaeCarty 's death is recorded 
there in the year 1698. All of his companions in the 
enterprise became men of prominence in New England 

Several references to this incident may be seen in 
O'Callaghan's "Documentary History of New York." ^^ 
In a letter to Robert Treat, Governor of Connecticut, 
dated August 28, 1689, Leisler also said the "five 
strangers" from Boston "knew but papists in this 
toune," and in an affidavit of one Bartholomew Le Roux 
concerning the affair, taken before Leisler on September 
25, 1689, the affiant stated: "We had certain informa- 
tion that there was Eighty or a hundred men coming 
from Boston & other places that were hunted away, 
no doubt not for their goodnes & that there were several 
of them Irish and Papist & the Governor had designed 
to take them in the fort y* which they would not suffer. 
That a good part of the soldiers that were in the fort 
already were papist and that they (the Governor and 
his people) thought themselves not secure," etc. As 
is well known, Governor Dongan was a Catholic and 
during his term of office he was instrumental in bringing 
several Irish Catholics to New York. Possibly, some of 
these were the "Irish and Papist" referred to in the 
above quoted document, and since Andros himself, al- 
though a Protestant, favored the Catholics, and it is 
known there were Catholics residing in Rhode Island 
at the time, in all probability they were among the 
"Eighty or a hundred men coming from Boston and 

62 Vol. II. 

222 THE McCarthys 

other places that were hunted away," and that their 
purpose in coming to New York was to try and wean 
away from the royal cause the "papist" soldiers, "a 
good part" of whom, doubtless, were Irishmen. 
Whether or not Thomas MacCarty and his companions 
had any connection with these men does not appear. 

Savage refers to one Charles Maecarty who was "badly 
wounded in the expedition against Quebec in 1690." 
In "the expedition against Quebec" under Sir William 
Phips, Lieutenant-Governor of Massachusetts, the Colo- 
nial government despatched several warships and bodies 
of troops raised mainly in Middlesex, Worcester and 
Suffolk Counties, and among the latter was a body of 
men known as "The Boston Regiment," as well as "The 
Military Company of the Massachusetts," both under 
the command of John Walloy of Boston. From the 
meager accounts of it that have been published, we learn 
that the attempt to land troops was futile and disastrous, 
since the French artillery on the heights commanded the 
approaches to the city, and the ships were compelled to 
return to Boston without accomplishing the object of 
the expedition. A Charles MacCarty was a member of 
one of Walley's companies and this undoubtedly was 
the soldier referred to by Savage, but as there was an- 
other Charles, son of Thaddeus MacCarty, who died on 
October 25, 1683, it is clear there were two of the same 
name in Boston. This, coupled with the fact that no 
details of the career of the adventurous youth, Thomas 
MacCarty, have been ascertained beyond those already 
alluded to, indicates the probability that there is some 
interesting material about this family in Massachusetts 
records which has not yet been discovered. 

Although Thaddeus MacCarty was a member of the 


Artillery Company at this time, and Florence MacCarty 
was also a member of a military company, there is noth- 
ing to indicate that they were interested in the success 
of the movement against the French, and it is highly im- 
probable on account of their age that they took part in 
the expedition. It is not unlikely, however, that Captain 
Thomas MacCarty had some part in it, since the papers 
of Samuel Sewall, already quoted, show that he was 
in active service as master of a vessel several years 
later, and it may be supposed also that Thomas Mac- 
Carty, Junior, after his return from New York, joined 
the expedition. Mr. John Henry Edmonds, State Ar- 
chivist, in his Captain Thomas Pound, Pilot, Pirate, 
Cartographer and Captain in the Royal Navy,^^ repro- 
duces from the original record in the Massachusetts 
archives a copy of ''An Account of the Fight between 
the Rose ffrigatt and a ffrench Man of War off of Cape 
Sables," which occurred on the 24th of May, 1690. 
The Rose was an English ship in the service of the 
colonies, stationed in Boston harbor for several years, 
and was engaged in the expedition against the French, 
and among her crew were several young men from 
Boston. The "Account of the Fight" quoted by Ed- 
monds gives a list of the casualties in this action, and 
among the wounded on the Rose was "Mr. Macarty's 
man Michael," who "lost his arm." There is nothing 
to identify "Mr. Macarty" with certainty, but it is 
clear that one of the three MacCartj^s, Thaddeus, Flor- 
ence or Captain Thomas, was here referred to and that 
the "man Michael" was a sailor in his employ; but, in 
the absence of definite information on the point, for 
the present his identity remains in obscurity. Mr. Ed- 

53 Published by the Colonial Society of Massachusetts; Vol. 20, pp. 82-83. 

224 THE McCarthys 

monds' assumption is that the ''Mr. Macarty" referred 
to was Captain Thomas. 

References to people of the name turn up in the most 
unexpected quarters, and with little or nothing to in- 
dicate to the searcher what relationships may have ex- 
isted between these various McCarthys. In the ' ' Papers 
of Edmund Andros, Royal Gouvernour and President 
of Massachusetts," one Daniel MacKarty is mentioned 
under date of January 22, 1687. These papers cover 
the period, December 20, 1686, to April 22, 1687, and 
were published by the American Antiquarian Society, 
and one of the items noted therein is "the petition of 
Daniel MacKarty, setting forth that he had been a pris- 
oner in his ma'''^^ Gaol in Boston, haveing been charged 
with felony," etc. The document stated that he "was 
tryed and acquitted by his Jury but was kept in Prison 
for his fees," and on the hearing of the petition, at "A 
Meeting of the Councill at Boston in New England on 
Saturday the 22 of January 1686" (1687), it was "Or- 
dered that upon payment of his fees he (Daniel Mac- 
Karty) be forthwith discharged according to Law."^* 
Who this Daniel MacKarty was, or what was his fate 
or fortune after his release, there is now no way of 
ascertaining, but it is probable that he was one of the 
many Irish "redemptioners" who are known to have 
been in New England at this period. 

Thaddeus MacCarty (2nd), son of Thaddeus (1st), 
was a merchant and shipowner at Boston and is de- 
scribed by Lincoln in his "History of Worcester," as 
"an experienced commander and skillful navigator in 
the merchant service." For many years he followed 
the sea in command of his own vessel and his name 

54 Androa Papers, in American Antiquarian Society publications ; Vol. 
13, p. 248. 


occurs frequently in the shipping records published in 
the Boston News-Letter among masters of vessels trading 
between Boston and the Islands of the West Indies and 
the port of London, during the first quarter of the eight- 
eenth century. At that period, no occupation was 
more hazardous than that of a seaman, and in the news- 
papers are found many references to the pirates who 
roved the sea plundering merchant ships, robbing and 
maltreating the crews and passengers and in some cases 
setting fire to the vessels and marooning the crews in 
isolated islands along the coasts. The Boston News- 
Letter published several accounts by New England sea- 
captains of their encounters with pirate ships, and news 
from other countries published in the newspapers was 
often six or seven months old because of the fact that 
American vessels had to put into other ports in order 
to escape the pirates. 

Captain MacCarty and his crew are numbered among 
the victims of the sea-robbers. In the News-Letter of 
October 10-18, 1723, there is an account "which came 
hither by way of Rhode Island," of ''the capture of 
Captain Thaddeus MacCarty, his vessel and crew, by a 
French pirate of 12 guns and 24 hands as they were 
bound for Jamaica, leaving the Master and Men ashore, 
but carrying away the boy and vessel." It is evident 
that he made his way to Boston, but that his luck did 
not attend him for long, for only eight months after this 
incident Captain MacCarty again fell in with the pi- 
rates on the high seas. The News-Letter of July 9-16, 
1724, published a long "account from Virginia" relat- 
ing to "a Spanish pirate ship flying British colours," 
which captured several vessels, one of which taken off 
Cape Charles on June 5th, was the brigatine. Prudent 
Hannah, of Boston, commanded by Captain Thomas 

226 THE McCarthys 

Mousell, bound for Virginia. This account said, 
"Smith, the pilot of the Spaniard, told Mousell they 
had taken two New England brigantines, Maecarty and 
Burrington. ' ' A despatch from New York published in 
the News-Leiter of July 16-23, said that the pirate had 
been captured and that four of her crew had been tried 
at Lewes, Del., and sentenced, to death. 

For some time thereafter Captain MacCarty is not 
mentioned in the shipping records, and it was not until 
November, 1724, that his name again appears among 
masters of vessels trading out of Boston. The News- 
Letter of November 12-19, 1724, announced that Cap- 
tain Thaddeus MacCarty was registered at the Boston 
Custom House ' ' outward bound for Jamaica, ' ' and, that 
his experiences with the pirates did not deter him from 
the pursuit of his chosen business, is seen from the fact 
that his name is mentioned occasionally in the shipping 
records down to the year 1728. His marriage to Mary 
Greenough is recorded at Boston as of June 14, 1716, 
and the births of three of their children, Thaddeus, 
Elizabeth and John, are recorded in the Town Books 
between 1721 and 1724. His name is also mentioned 
as one of a number of dissatisfied worshippers at the 
North Church, Boston, who met on November 14, 1717, 
for the purpose of organizing a new church which they 
called the "New Brick Church. "^^ As "Thade' 
Mecharty" he was appointed "Assessor for the year 
ensuing" at a meeting of the Selectmen on March 13, 
1726, and according to the inscription on his tombstone 
in the Granary Burial Ground, he died on February 22, 
1729, and Letters of Administration were granted to 
"Mary Maecarty, wife of Thaddeus, Admx.," on March 
18th of that year, and in the papers on file among the 

55 History of Boston, by Samuel G. Drake ; p. 558. 


probate records he is styled "Capt Thaddeus Maccarty 
of Boston, Mariner." His estate was appraised at the 
sum of £1477. 14s. 6d.^« 

As already stated, Thaddeus MaeCarty was the father 
of Charles, Francis and Samuel, besides Thaddeus 
(2nd), and two daughters, Margaret and Catherine. 
Charles died in 1683 and Catherine in 1723; Margaret 
married Amos Angier, schoolmaster of Boston, on May 
20, 1708 ; but there seems to be nothing on record con- 
cerning Francis and Samuel. However, a sea captain 
of the name, and possibly more than one, is referred to 
several times in the New York and Boston newspapers 
down to the year 1739, although there is no mention of 
their given names, and since so many of the MacCartys 
followed the sea, it is possible these mariners were the 
sons of Thaddeus (1st). As an example of the diflfi- 
culty of establishing the identity of the various Mac- 
Cartys whose names appear in public records, Thaddeus 
Maccarty is mentioned as " one of the non-resident pro- 
prietors of Dunstable, Mass.," in 1733." This could 
not have been Captain Thaddeus, since he died in 1729, 
and the only conclusion is that his son, Thaddeus (3rd), 
was the person here referred to, although he was only 
twelve years old in 1733. There is no mention of Thad- 
deus Maccarty in the town records of Dunstable, al- 
though there were several families named McArthey and 
McCarthy there in the early part of the last century, 
but these were not descendants of Thaddeus because 
the vital records of the town show they came from Ire- 

Thaddeus MaeCarty (3rd), son of Captain Thaddeus, 
the Boston merchant and shipowner, was born in Bos- 

56 Probate Records of Suflfolk County, Mass. 

57 New England Hiatoric-Genealogical Register; Vol. 50, p. 307. 

228 THE McCarthys 

ton on July 18, 1721, and was a famous Protestant 
divine of the Revolutionary period. In his youth he 
followed the sea with his father, but relinquished that 
occupation and decided to study for the ministry. He 
graduated from Harvard College in 1739, and in a "List 
of individuals who may he justly regarded as the prin- 
cipal Literati of New England, who flourished about 
the beginning of the last (eighteenth) centurj^" which 
I find in the New England Historic-Genealogical 
Register,^^ appears the name of "Thaddeus Maccarty, 
Student at Harvard College." The next appearance of 
his name is on a muster-roll dated Boston, November 
11, 1741, of officers on the "Snow, Prince of Orange, 
Edward Tyng, Master," where he is listed as "Chap- 
lain. ' ' The period of his service on board the vessel was 
from April 4, 1741, to November 11 of the same year 
and an entry opposite his name reads that he was 
"charged with use of province arms 222 days."^® 

In 1742, when only twenty-one years old, he became 
pastor of a church at Kingston, Mass., but five years 
later he took charge of the Congregational church at 
Worcester,*"* where he officiated for thirty-seven years 
until his death on July 20, 1784. He was a strong sup- 
porter of the Revolutionary cause ; he took a prominent 
part in town and county affairs and is seen to have 
passed through the trials and hardships of the time with 
the fortitude becoming an ardent patriot. When the 
alarm from Lexington was received at Worcester, a com- 
pany of 110 men was organized in that town and we 
find a member of the MacCarty family taking a promi- 
nent part in this historic event. "In a short time the 

58 Vol. VI, pp. 189-199. 

59 Massachusetts Archives; Vol. 91, p. 353. 

60 The Worcester Book, by Franklin P. Rice, Worcester Society of 
Antiquity, 1884. 


minute men were paraded on the green under Captain 
Timothy Bigelow and after fervent prayer by Rev, Mr. 
Maccarty, they took up the line of march, ' ' on the 19th 
of April, 1775. Rev. Thaddeus MacCarty is mentioned 
no less than ninety-nine times in the town records of 
Worcester between 1754 and 1784 and his sons, Thad- 
deus and William, also appear frequently in the same 
records, showing that they were among the substantial 
citizens of the town. Rev. Thaddeus MacCarty is de- 
scribed as "one of the most scholarly men in New Eng- 
land in his day," and he is referred to frequently in 
Massachusetts history as an intimate friend of John 
Adams. He married Mary Gatcomb, the daughter of 
a Welsh immigrant, on September 3, 1743. To this 
union were born fifteen children whose names are found 
in the baptismal records of Worcester, as follows: 

Thaddeus MacCarty, born July 29, 1744 

John MacCarty, born August 16, 1745 

Thaddeus MacCarty (2nd.) born December 19, 1747 

Thomas MacCarty, bom September 24, 1749 

Mary MacCarty, born October 30, 1750 

John MacCarty (2nd.) born January 10, 1752 

Elizabeth MacCarty, bom January 7, 1753 

Samuel MacCarty, bora March 23, 1755 

Thomas MacCarty (2nd.), bora December 5, 1755 

Francis MacCarty, bora September 28, 1756 

Nathaniel MacCarty, bom July 10, 1758 

William MacCarty, bora July 19, 1759 

Lucy MacCarty, born June 25, 1760 

Lucretia MacCarty, bom July 15, 1762 

Francis MacCarty (2nd.), bom August 8, 1763 

In the cemeteries at Worcester may be seen the graves 
of a number of MacCartys, and in the old burial-ground 
on "The Common" there is a stone over the grave of 
Rev. Thaddeus MacCarty, the inscription on which reads 
as follows: 

230 THE McCarthys 

"Beneath this stone are deposited the remains of the Revd. 
Thaddeus MaeCarty for 37 years Pastor of the Church in 
Worcester. Through the course of his Ministry he uniformly 
exhibited an example of the peaceable and amiable virtues 
of Christianity. Under a slow and painful decline he dis- 
covered an ardent love to his Master by a cheerful attention 
to his service and at the approach of death he patiently sub- 
mitted in tlie full hope of a glorious Resurrection from the 
Grave. In testimony of his fidelity the people of his charge 
erected this Monument. 

"Obiit, July 20, 1784" 

Thaddeus MaeCarty (4th), son of Rev. Thaddeus, 
was a noted Massachusetts physician in Revolutionary 
times. "We are told '*he was a man of good education 
and skilled in his profession and was the first physician 
at Fitchburg, where he located in the year 1772.""^ 
The town historian relates that "the smallpox broke out 
in 1776, causing terrible ravages through a large sec- 
tion of the country, and Dr. Thaddeus MaeCarty estab- 
lished a hospital on Buck Hill where he labored in- 
cessantly to alleviate the pains of those who were suffer- 
ing." He is said to have wrought "wonderful cures." 
Dr. MaeCarty 's brother, Nathaniel, was "the first post- 
master at "Worcester," according to the inscription on 
his tombstone in the Mechanic Street burial-ground at 
that place. He was a merchant for some years at Peter- 
sham where he acquired a fortune, and we are told "he 
lived in one of the stateliest houses in "Worcester where 
Brinley Hall later stood. ' ' ®^ For some years he was 
Treasurer of the American Antiquarian Society and 
when he died in the year 1831 he left the Society a cash 
bequest to carry on its work. Another brother, "William 
MaeCarty, was an officer in Colonel Bigelow's Massa- 
chusetts regiment in the Revolutionary war, and "at a 

61 Torrey's History of Fitchburg, Mass. 

62 American Antiquarian Society ; Vol. V, p. 130. 


meeting of the Freeholders and Inhabitants of the Town 
of Worcester" on March 3, 1783, he was elected Town 

Thaddeus MacCarty (5th) was a Massachusetts law- 
yer of some prominence. In the New Hampshire State 
Papers ^* there is a reference to him reading : "Samuel 
Ackley resigns from his position as Judge of the County 
Court, July 12, 1791, and recommends Thaddeus Mac- 
carty as his successor." 

Next to Thaddeus MacCarty (1st) Florence Mac- 
Carty was the most prominent person of the name in 
Boston's early days and his name appears frequently in • 
the ''Minutes of the Meetings of the Selectmen of the 
Town of Boston;" but, as in the case of Thaddeus, there 
is nothing said as to his place of birth or his antecedents. 
Nor is there anything on record to indicate his relation- 
ship to Thaddeus MacCarty. He was a provision dealer 
and contractor at Boston in 1687, and in 1693 he is on 
record as the purchaser of several parcels of land in 
that town and at Roxbury. As ' ' Florence Mackarta ' ' his 
name appears in the Town Books of March 30, 1693, 
when, with Samuel Bill and Henry Brightman, he made 
application to the Selectmen "desiring leav to build a 
Slaughter hous on Peck 's Wharf e. " «^ In the same year 
he was elected "Town Constable," and again, at "a 
meeting of the Freeholders and Inhabitants of Boston," 
held on March 22, 1697, "Mr. Flor Maccarty was chosen 
Constable for ye year ensuing. ' ' ^^ 

As in the case of Thaddeus, his name was recorded in 
several curious ways in the Boston tax lists, and some 
examples of these entries are: "Florence Charty," 

03 Worcester Town Records, p. 428. 
«4Vol. 18, p. 835. 
65 Town Books, Vol. VII, p. 214. 
6« Ibid., p. 227. 

232 THE McCarthys 

taxed in 1687; "fflorance Mecarte," taxed in 1688; 
''Florence Mac Karty," in 1691, and "Florence Me-, 
cliarte's Est" (estate) was taxed at Salem in the year 
1700." A "List of the Names of all the Males above 
16 years of Age Taken in Major Townsend's Camp, 
August 1698, " ®^ includes the name, ' ' Florence Micarta, ' ' 
and while this would indicate that he followed the ex- 
ample of Thaddeus by joining the Massachusetts Mili- 
tary Company, his name does not appear in its muster- 
rolls. As "Florence Mecarta" his name is recorded in 
a "Petition of Boston Inhabitants in 1696 that the law 
relating to building with brick be repealed, ' ' ^'^ and on 
July 27, 1702, he acted as ' ' Surety for Anthony Blount 
to be admitted as an Inhabitant, ' ' ^° and on July 9, 
1703, he and John Bennet executed a bond as sureties 
for Benjamin Gallop, "guardian to the children of 
Nathaniel Alden of Boston, deceased. ' ' '^^ 

About 1700 he was the possessor of a large tract of 
land which he turned into a stock farm, and according 
to a description of the tract, "it contained sixty acres 
and lay between Hawthorne Street and "Walnut Avenue 
on both sides of Washington Street, extending from 
Cedar on the north to Marcella on the south." " Prior 
to 1710, he lived in Brattle Square, Boston, but in that 
year he purchased the " Alcock Mansion" at what is now 
said to be the comer of Ellis and Hawthorne Streets, 
where he lived until his death. He also owned the land 
which is now the southwest comer of State and Congress 
Streets, and in 1712 it is referred to as "Maccarty's 
Comer." Evidently, there was another "Maccarty's 

67 Salem tax lists, Vol. IV, p. 15, in Genealogical Quarterly Magairie. 

68 Town Books, Vol. X, p. 89. 

09 New England Historic-Oenelogical Register; Vol. 16, p. 85. 

70 Town Books, Vol. XI, p. 1. 

71 Suffolk Court Files, Lib. 15, fol. 175. 

72 Report of Record Commissioners, Vol. 34. 


Corner" in Boston, as appears from an order issued by 
the Selectmen at a meeting held on May 3, 1708, direct- 
ing that "the Streets, Lanes and Alleys of this Town 
as they are bounded and named be accordingly recorded 
in the Towne Booke, w*** are as followeth." Then fol- 
lows a list of "the Streets, Lanes and Alleys," among 
which were several ' ' Corners, ' ' one of which was ' ' Mac- 
cartyes Comer in King Street." Half Square Court, 
Boston, is described in the year 1732 as "from Mac- 
carty's Corner turning into Pudding Lane"" (about 
what has since been the City Exchange), and in 1743 
"Maccarty's Corner" was referred to as "the comer of 
King Street and Leverett's Lane." His homestead and 
gardens for more than a hundred years were known as 
"the Maccarty farm," and until recent years, were so 
referred to in deeds and conveyances concerning lots 
and holdings in that part of the City of Boston. "The 
Maccarty farm ' ' was divided into building lots and sold 
in the year 1830.^" 

In 1691 it is evident that one Joseph Newell executed 
a mortgage to Florence MacCarty on some property in 
Roxbury. In the "Acts and Resolves of the Province 
of Massachusetts Bay" of the year 1715 the following 
petition is entered: "Richard Coomes and Hebshibah, 
his wife, prayed the equity of Redemption of an Estate 
in Roxbury mortgaged in the year 1691 to Florence Mac- 
Carty, late of Boston, Butcher, by their Father, Joseph 
Newell, Deceased." The petition was heard at a session 
of the Council in Boston in June, 1715, when it was 
voted "that the Pef" ought to have the Equity of Re- 

7 S History of Boston, by Samuel Gardner Drake; p. 468. 

74 The "Maccarty farm" is mentioned in Francis S. Drake's History 
of the Town of Roxbury. Drake says that the "mansion" in which 
Florence MacCarty lived was still standing at the time he was compiling 
his town history in 1878, although greatly altered. 

234 THE McCarthys 

demption inasmuch as the Mortgage made to Florence 
Maccarty by Joseph Newell Father of the Petitioners 
(Richard Coomes' wife) was not recorded until April 
7, 1714. And that they be impower'd to file a Bill for 
their Rights of Equity of Redemption in the next Court 
of Law proper to hear the same." On December 16, 
1715, the petition was decided in their favor by the Court 
in Boston.'^^ 

Besides his large holdings in Boston and Roxbury, he 
also owned lands and houses at Salem. In the Registry 
of Deeds for Essex County at Salem there is a record 
of a purchase by "Florence Maccarty of Boston, Slaugh- 
terer," of a house and lot at Salem from one John 
Cromwell on March 17, 1698, for £120."^ On November 
28, 1701, he purchased a house at Salem from Hannah 
Cromwell, and on April 7, 1707, Elizur Keysor of Salem 
conveyed to Florence MacCarty a house, barn and land 
at that place." In the "Salem Commoners' Records" 
of the year 1702 he is named ' ' Florence Mccarty, ' ' and 
"Flowrence Maccarter" is recorded as "the owner of 
Crumel's houses" in 1713. As Florence of Boston died 
in the year 1712, the "Flowrence Maccarter" here re- 
ferred to must have been his son. 

As Florence "Maccartie" he is mentioned by the 
New England historian, Drake, among eleven prominent 
persons in Boston who met in that town on June 15, 
1686, for the purpose of organizing "the first Society 
for Episcopal worship in New England." Savage also 
mentions him in his "Genealogical Dictionary of the 
First Settlers of New England." He gives 1686 as 
the earliest period when his name was recorded among 
the inhabitants of the town and states that he was "one 

■!5 Council Records; Vol. IX, pp. 443 and 468. 

7G Registry of Deeds, Essex County; Book 13, fol. 213. 

77 Ibid., Book 20, fol. 27. 


of the founders of the first Society for Episcopal wor- 
ship in New England," but it is clear that he was a 
resident of the town for many years before that time, 
and it seems proper to assume that he was there as early 
as Thaddeus, who is first mentioned in the records of 
the year 1664. One historical writer says that Florence 
was ' ' a son of Thaddeus, ' ' but as he offers no authority 
for that statement, and as there is no record of any 
son of Thaddeus named Florence, I am constrained to 
disregard it, and my own opinion is that they were 
brothers and in all probability they came together to this 
country from Ireland. 

Florence MacCarty was married three times. By his 
first wife, Elizabeth, he had three children whose births 
are recorded in the Town Books ^® as follows : 

Elizabeth, daughter of Florence and Elizabeth Maccarty, 

December 25, 1686 
Thomas, son of Florence and Eliza Maccarty, February 5, 

William, son of Florence and Eliza Maccarty, February 3, 

The death of Elizabeth, wife of Florence, is recorded 
under date of July 6, 1696, and on August 24, 1697, 
he married Sarah Nework, by whom he had three daugh- 
ters, the record of whose births thus appears in the 
Town Books: ^^ 

Sarah, daughter of Florence and Sarah MacKarty, May 13, 

Esther, daughter of Florence Mackartey and Sarah, his wife, 

July 21, 1701 
Margaret, daughter of Florence Mackartey and Sarah, his 

wife, March 29, 1702 
On January 8, 1706, he married Christian Dobbins by 
whom he had two sons, Florence and William. The 

78 Vol. IX. 79 Vols. IX and XXIV. 

236 THE McCarthys 

births of several of his children are entered in the vital 
records of Dorchester as indicating that he lived for 
some time in that town. He died at Roxbury on June 
13, 1712, and on May 31, 1714, letters of administration 
to his estate were granted to his widow. Christian Mac- 
Carty, and his son "William, and the record shows that 
the estate which was appraised at £2922. 10s. 8d. as 
''divided and set off," one-third to the widow and two- 
thirds among the children, Elizabeth, Mary, Sarah, 
Esther and William. This William MacCarty was a 
shipmaster and merchant at Boston and was part owner 
of several fine vessels trading with the West Indies. 

The first William MacCarty, son of Florence and 
Elizabeth, is mentioned several times in the Minutes of 
the Selectmen of the town of Boston between 1735 and 
1750, as showing that he continued the business estab- 
lished by his father. Under "New Inhabitants admitted 
by ye Sel'men," William Maccarty joined Luke Verdey 
and Thomas Phillips as "suretyes" on August 28, 1716,^" 
and on March 15, 1725, he was chosen one of six con- 
stables for the town of Boston. ^^ ''Mr. William Mac- 
carty, Victualler" petitioned the Selectmen on March 
18, 1735, "for Liberty to sell his meat in the Market 
Place" and was "Advised to Erect a Stall upon the 
Platform near the Market Place laid there last Summer 
for that purpose, in order to Sell his Meat therein. ' ' ^^ 
And that it is evident there was some opposition to his 
securing this privilege is clear from an entry in the 
Town Books of April 9, 1735. At a meeting of the Se- 
lectmen on that date "Mr. Savell is Directed to make a 
strict Inquiry in order to find out the Person or Persons 
who overthrew a Frame Erected by Mr. William Mac- 

80 Town Books, Vol. 31. 82 /bid.. Vol. 31, p. 269. 

81 Ibid., Vol. 8, p. 195, 


carty on the Platform near the Market on Dock Square 
the last night." On May 25, 1735, at a meeting of 
the citizens and freeholders in Faneuil Hall, his name 
is listed for a subscription of £15 among a number of 
inhabitants of the town who subscribed for a fund "to 
erect a Workhouse wherein to Employ Idle and Indigent 
belonging to the Town, ' ' and five years later he is seen 
in a controversy with the Selectmen over a proposition 
to make certain changes in his lot and residence in Half 
Square Court. The inscription on his tombstone in 
Copp's Hill burial-ground at Boston says he died on 
January 27, 1756, and "Letters of Administration to 
the estate of William Maccarty, late of Boston, Vic- 
tualler," were granted on December 16, 1757, and his 
son, ' ' Thomas Maccarty, Merchant, ' ' was appointed Ad- 
ministrator by Governor Thomas Hutchinson. 

The fugitive references herein quoted from the Town 
Books of Boston and other early records indicate clearly 
that the MacCartys were among the active and enter- 
prising business men of the town and there can be no 
doubt that if a more extensive search were made in the 
old records, data could be secured which would form the 
basis of a highly interesting story of the careers of the 
American descendants of these "Exiles from Erin." 
There was every reason for according them a place in 
Massachusetts history, yet the historians are peculiarly 
silent. In the voluminous work of the New England 
historians. Dr. William Richard Cutter and William 
Frederick Adams,^' entitled ' ' Genealogical and Personal 
Memoirs relating to the Families of the State of Massa- 
chusetts," and in a similar work by the same authors 
dealing with Middlesex County, there is absolutely no 
mention of the MacCartys, as if such a family never 

83 Eight volumes of nearlj' 6000 pages. 


THE McCarthys 

resided in tlie State ! Besides the descendants of Thad- 
deus, Florence and Thomas, it is certain also there were 
other families of the name in Boston and vicinity during 
the first half of the eighteenth century, but the rec- 
ords do not disclose what their relationship to these 
three may have been. This is shown by the entries in 
the Parish Registers of marriages of persons of the name, 
and as none of these are recorded among the births as 
children of either Thaddeus, Florence or Thomas Mac- 
Carty, or their sons, it is a fair assumption that they 
were immigrants from Ireland or possibly were the chil- 
dren of immigrants whose names are not on record. 
Some instances of these are the following marriages, all 
recorded in the Boston Town Books.^* 

Mary Maccarty 
Sarah Maccarty 
Mary Maccarty 
Mary Maccarty 
Mary Maccarty 
Anne Maccarty 
Eleanor McCarty 
Elizabeth Maccarty 
Margaret McCarty 
Jeremiah McCarty 
Mary Maccarty 
Mary Carty 
Elizabeth McCarty 
Michael McCarty 
Elizabeth McCarty 
Katharine McCarty 
Timothy McCarty 
Eliza McCarthey 
Margaret Maccarty 
Margaret Maccarty 
Mary Maccarty 
James McCarty 
Elizabeth Maccarty 

and Matthew Hole 

and Thomas Foster 

and Jeremiah Philbrick 

and Thomas Marshall 

and Ebenezer Bridge 

and Edward Oliver 

and John Popeland 

and William Bennet 

and John Rush 

and Elizabeth Brooks 

and Edward Fox 

and Caleb Hacker 

and James Pritchetfc 

and Mary Peninton 

and John Hutchinson 

and Richard Barry 

and Mercy Swain 

and Patrick Corkerry 

and James Kanney 

and Thomas Marshall 

and Tliomas Cahill 

and Elizabeth Montgomery 

and Joseph Dunnel 

December 23, 1708 
January 5, 1712 
December 25, 1712 
March 23, 1718 
March 19, 1729 
December 19, 1734 
December 5, 1735 
July 6, 1736 
December 2, 1736 
January 7, 1738 
February 6, 1738 
April 27, 1738 
April 7, 1739 
May 21, 1739 
April 28, 1740 
June 24, 1740 
December 1, 1740 
March 24, 1741 
December 27, 1743 
March 5, 1746 
June 9, 1746 
December 25, 1749 
August 28, 1756 

Besides these, there is an entry reading that John 
McCarty and Christian McLoud of Dorchester ' ' declared 
their intentions" on July 11, 1738, but the marriage was 
' ' forbid. ' ' There seems to be no way of identifjdng the 

84 Vol. 28. 


various MacCartys above listed, and as far as I can find, 
there is no mention of them or their parents in any other 
New England records or in the town or county histories. 
So that, this list in itself, will serve as an indication 
of the incompleteness of this account of the various 
American families of the name. 



The descendants of the pioneer MacCartys in New England — The 
McCarthys of Salem and other Massachusetts towns — Mc- 
Carthys as soldiers in the Colonial wars — Captain Daniel Mc- 
Carthy, one of the charter members of the Marine Society of 
Boston — Daniel McCarthy, merchant and Revolutionary pa- 
triot of Roxbury — McCarthys recorded as arriving from Ire- 
land before the Revolution — A large number of people of the 
name appear in Massachusetts records. 

There are many other references in New England 
town records to people of this name at later periods 
than the foregoing, although it is clear that all of them 
could not have been descended from either of the Bos- 
ton pioneers, the given names of these people being in 
themselves an indication that they were not of this im- 
mediate family. Most of the other McCarthys were im- 
migrants from Ireland who came to New England at 
various times during the eighteenth century. While 
the descendants of the Boston pioneers were numerous, 
they scattered all over the country and in some instances 
the male line is seen to have died out. For instance, 
although Rev. Thaddeus MacCarty of Worcester was the 
father of fifteen children, the town historian shows that 
there lived of his posterity in the New England States 
in 1862 only one grandchild, two great grandchildren 
and three great-great-grandchildren of the name. Ac- 
cording to the genealogical records, numerous daughters 
of the MacCartys became the wives of descendants of 
some of the oldest settlers in New England and many 

prominent families of to-day can claim the distinction 



of having the "blue blood" of the ancient Irish family 
of MacCarthy coursing through their veins. 

The McCarthys -were pretty well scattered through 
New England. Apparently, the first of the name was 
William, who is recorded among "persons who owned 
lands at Salem prior to 1661," ^ and no doubt the "Wil- 
liam Carty" who was summoned as a juror at Salem in 
1672 was the same man. There is no further reference 
to him, nor any indication that he left descendants, al- 
though one "John Mackartee" seems to have been at 
Salem in 1700, since his name so appears in the tax lists 
of the town for that year. And, as will be noted from 
the references to Newport, Rhode Island, records," "John 
MackCartey of Salem ' ' took out letters of administration 
to the estate of his son, Andrew, who died at Newport 
in the year 1703 or 1704. Although no further infor- 
mation as to these people seems to be now obtainable 
beyond the bare references to them in the public records, 
it is believed that both were sea-faring men. 

That there was a large family of the name at Salem 
appears from entries in the parish registers quoted in 
the ' ' Historical Collections of the Essex Institute, ' ' ^ 
of which the following are verbatim copies : ' ' John 
Mecarter or Mecartey and Rebecka Meacham were 
maryed the 27th. of January, 1674; theire son John 
borne the 13th. January, 1675 ; daughter Rebecka 
borne 4th. 12 mo, 1677 ; son Jeremiah borne 9th. 7th. 
mo. 1679 ; Peter borne 1st. 9th. mo. 1681 ; Andrew borne 
6th. June, 1684 ; James bom 17th. 9th. mo. 1686 ; Isaac 
bom 3rd. June, 1689 ; Rebecka bom the second daughter 
6th. February, 1690. ' ' In the same records from which 
these names are taken may be seen references to William 

1 See New England Historic-Genealogical Register; Vol. VII, p. 152. 

2 At page 268. 3 Vol. II, p. 298. 

242 THE McCarthys 

Obrien, Bryant 'Dougherty and "Francis Roache, a 
native of Ireland, ' ' who were residents of Salem between 
1669 and 1683. "John, Jeremiah, Peter, Andrew and 
James Makarta, sons of Rebecca Makarta," were bap- 
tized in the First Church at Salem on November 16, 1687, 
and "Isack, son of John Macarta," was baptized in the 
same church on September 21, 1689.* 

"John McCartey, a dyer," came from "Warren, Rhode 
Island, to Salem in 1699 and settled there, and "John 
Mccarty, ' ' who probablj^ was a son of John and Rebecca 
Mecartey, above mentioned, is referred to in Salem rec- 
ords of 1702 as "a property owner" in that town.^ 
William Maccarty with other inhabitants of Salem 
signed a petition on June 29, 1713, requesting "that a 
meeting of the proprietors be summoned. ' ' ° Marj^ Mac- 
carty became the wife of Ebenezer Fisher at Dedham, 
Mass., on June 2, 1718,'^ and Ruth Maccarty and John 
Smith were married at Wrentham, Mass., on May 18, 
1721,^ indicating that there were families of the name 
at these places, although neither the local historians nor 
the public records of these towns make any mention of 
them. The inventory of the estate of "Thomas Mc- 
Cordy, late of Dedham, deceased, taken 19th. April, 
1758," appears in the Suffolk County court files and 
it is probable that this "McCordy" was a McCarthy. 
Another of the name, James, lived at Dedham, since the 
probate records show that letters of administration for 
the estate of "James McCordy, late of Dedham," were 
granted to "Thomas Kilpatrick of St. George in the 
County of York, Gent'n," on April 14, 1758. 

4 Ibid., Vol. VII, p. 126. 

5 Essex Antiquarian. 

New England Hisloric-Genealogical Register; Vol. VI, p. 152. 

7 Boston Town Records, Vol. 28, p. 308. 

8 Ihid., p. 321. 


From the "Vital Records of Newbury, Mass.," among 
marriages solemnized in Queen Anne's Episcopal chapel 
at that place, the following entry is taken: "William 
McCarthy of Kingsale, Ireland, mariner, and Margaret 
Pulsafer of Boston, married June 25, 1729." No Mc- 
Carthys appear in the birth or death records of the town 
of Newbury, and as the local historian fails to make 
any mention of people of the name, there is nothing 
to indicate whether William and Margaret McCarthy 
made the place their home, or what their history may 
have been. "Robert Mackerdey or McCarthy" was 
"admitted to the Church (at Hanover, Mass.), on July 
6, 1728," and "James McCarty and Elizabeth Smith, 
both of Hanover," were married on August 9, 1732.^ 
"Dan" MacKarty, Constable, 28s. 2d.", is one of the 
items of indebtedness mentioned in the inventory of the 
estate of John Trask of Salem when his will, dated No- 
vember 11, 1729, was filed in the Essex County probate 
court on May 20, 1730.^° "James McCarty 's estate" 
was taxed at Charlestown in the year 1730 and again in 
1734,1^ gj-^(^ Ijig gon^ John INIaccarty, was taxed at that 
place in 1730 and under the name of "John Maccordy" 
in 1737. Another John McCarty appears in the Charles- 
town tax lists between 1770 and 1773. It is quite pos- 
sible that these McCartys were descendants of the Bos- 
ton pioneers, since the name of William G. McCarthy, 
son of Thaddeus (3rd) is also entered in the Charles- 
town tax lists. He settled at that place after his mar- 
riage to Hannah Soley at Billerica, Mass., on December 
28, 1785. 

9 History and Records of the First Congregational Church at Hanover, 
Mass., by Lloyd Vernon Briggs. 

10 Trask Genealogy, in New Eng. Hiat.-Geneal. Register; Vol. 55, p. 330. 

11 The Genealogies and Estates of Charlestown, by Thomas B. Wyman; 
p. 642; Boston, 1879. 

244 THE McCarthys 

Thomas McCarty appears in the Charlestown records 
of the year 1740 as " a stranger, ' ' and evidently he diedl 
in that year, for on December 1, 1740, the Selectmen 
ordered "that the Towne pay the expenses of his fu- 
neral. ' ' ^^ There also seems to have been a family of 
the name at Leicester, Mass. In the ''Journal of Revd. 
Daniel Shute,"^^ chaplain in the expedition to Canada 
in the French-English war, he relates an account of 
his journey and states that, on his arrival at Leicester 
on October 17, 1758, he "took some refreshment at 
Mr. McCarty 's." In the marriage register of Glou- 
cester, Mass.,^* there is an entry of the marriage of 
"Esther Maccarty, daughter of Thomas Maccarty," to 
Epes Sargent of Salem, son of William Sargent, an 
immigrant to the Cape Cod Peninsula prior to 1678. No 
date is mentioned, but as the date of her death is given 
as July 1, 1743, we may assume that Thomas Mac- 
carty was a very early settler in this ancient New 
England fishing village. The Boston Evening Post of 
December 13, 1762, in announcing the death of Epes 
Sargent at Salem at the age of 72, said he had been 
"for many years a noted merchant of that town," 
and one of the local historians says that "the family 
took high rank in mercantile and literary life from the 
first. "^^ 

A number of soldiers of the name served in the 
Massachusetts regiments engaged in the French and 
Indian wars, among them Richard Macarty, Thomas 
McCarthy, John McCarty, John McCarthy, Denis Mac- 
carty, Dennis McCarthy, Alexander McCarty and 

12 The Genealogies and Estates of Charlestown. 

13 In Essex Institute Historical Collections; Vol. XII, p. 151. 

14 Published by the New England Historic-Genealogical Society. 

15 History of Qlouceater, Mass., by James P. Pringle; p. 50, Gloucester 


Florence McCarthy. The ubiquitous Irishman turns 
up frequently in references to the Colonial wars, so 
it is not surprising to find McCarthys fighting on both 
sides in the French-English war. In the Pennsylvania 
Gazette of May 12, 1748, and in the Boston Evening Post 
of May 23 of the same year there is an account of a 
fight between a Boston vessel and a French privateer 
commanded by a Captain Maccarty. This account 
reads: "Sunday last arrived here (Philadelphia) the 
Snow, Molly and Sally, Captain Perry, from Barbadoes. 
In the Passage she met with, engaged and took the ship 
Aurora, Captain Maccarty, from Mississippi to Cape 
Francois, which vessel is also safe arrived in this Port. 
The Engagement lasted about an Hour and a Quarter, 
in which time Captain Maccarty had one man killed and 
several wounded. Unluckily for the captors. Captain 
Maccarty, having touched at the Havannah, put some 
Chests of Money he had on board into a Frigate of 36 
Guns, likewise bound for the Cape." No mention is 
made as to what became of Captain Maccarty and his 
crew of forty men, but in all probability they were re- 
leased, since the war between France and England was 
terminated in July, 1748. 

The earliest appearance of the above named Richard 
Macarty is his signature to a receipt, which I found in 
the Massachusetts Archives, dated Boston, August 27, 
1740, ''given by said Macarty for £5. received of Capt 
Steuart in full for bounty,"^" but as to where or how 
long he served is not stated in the record. Thomas 
McCarthy appears in a list of Massachusetts soldiers 
dated March 8, 1747, endorsed "Mr. Hubbard's account 
of money paid prisoner from Canada," ^^ and in a "List 

ia Massachusetts Archives; Vol. 91, p. 335B. 
nibid.; Vol. 92, p. 54A. 

246 THE McCarthys 

of the prisoners that came in the Flag of Truce from 
Quebec," published in the Boston Weekly Evening-Post 
of August 24, 1747, the name of Thomas McCarthy is 
listed among 171 men belonging to a New England regi- 
ment which took part in the siege of Louisburg, Cape 
Breton, in 1745. They were taken captive by the French 
and carried into Quebec as prisoners of war, and were 
brought back to Boston in exchange for French pris- 
oners, arriving at Boston on August 16, 1747.^^ 

The two Johns were in a Lancaster company and their 
names appear among the men mustered in at that place 
for the French-English war; and, since the names are 
listed in the roll at the same time, it is assumed they 
were different men. They served in the expedition to 
Nova Scotia in 1755 and at Lake George three years 
later, and among others in the Lancaster company were 
soldiers named Larkin, Dunn, McFadden, McBride, 
Geary, Powers, McLong, Butler, Flynn, Redmond, and 
Malone, as well as soldiers named Henderson, Russell 
and Spear, all recorded as "bom in Ireland,"" That 
John McCarthy reenlisted is clear from the fact that his 
name is entered as a "private in Captain Aaron Wil- 
lard 's company ' ' in 1759, with the date of enlistment as 
April 2nd and the period of his service up to November 
30th of the same year, serving ' ' at the Westward. ' ' His 
name again appears in a muster-roll of the company 
dated "Boston, February 28, 1760, "^^ and it is evident 
that he continued to reside at Lancaster after the war, 
since the town books under date of February 21, 1761, 

18 Among the prisoners were New England soldiers named McNally, 
Maddin, Ryan, Donahew, Mahaner, Kenny, Tobin, Donovan, Powers, 
Farrel, Harrow, Kelly, Magra, Larey, Mallaley, Curren, McClure, New- 
gent, Cummings, Dailey, Doyl, Dogan, Macquire, McCoo (probably Mc- 
Hugh), several of whom were described as "from Ireland." 

19 "Captain's Orderly Book" and "Journal of Colonel John Winslow," 
in Military Annals of Lancaster, Mass., by Henry S. Nourse. 

20 Maatachusetts Archives; Vol. 97, p. 398. 


contain an entry reading: "John McCarthy of Lan- 
caster entered his Intentions of Marriage with Wid'' 
margaret macf arland of said Lancaster, ' ' and in a " List 
of Marriages consummated by Revd. Tim" Harrington" 
appears a record of the marriage of "John McCarthy 
and Margaret McFarling, both of Lancaster, ' ' on March 
16, 1761. 

Denis Maccarty appears on a descriptive list of Major 
James House's company of Colonel Joseph Dwight's 
regiment raised * ' for intended expedition against Crown 
Point under John Winslow, Commander-in-Chief." On 
the muster-roll his age is given as 26 ; birthplace, Ire- 
land; residence, Warren (Mass.) ; occupation, labourer; 
rank, private. The company was returned as mustered 
in at Boston on May 6, 1756, and the record gives us 
the interesting information that "said Maccarty fur- 
nished his own blanket. ' ' ^^ The same name, and prob- 
ably the same man, is on a list dated July 22, 1756, of 
"soldiers enlisted or impressed out of the 2nd. Bristol 
County regiment for the expedition against Crown Point 
as returned by Col Thomas Gilbert." Denis was "re- 
ported as belonging to Rehoboth" (Mass.)^" and on April 
4, 1758, we find him sworn in on a muster-roll at Boston 
in Captain William Arbuthnot's company after service 
at Fort William Henry. The other Dennis McCarthy 
also enlisted in Captain Arbuthnot's company, and his 
name also appears in the roll of Captain Joel Bradford's 
company on February 18, 1757. He was ranked as 
"Corporal" and his residence ' was given as Taunton. 
Fort William Henry was invested on August 3rd and 
capitulated on August 9th, 1757, and Dennis McCarthy 
was "reported killed, August 6th," probably in action. 

21 Muster rolls, in Massachusetts Archives; Vol. 94, p. 181. 

22 Ibid.; pp. 256 and 272. 

248 THE McCarthys 

Denis Maccarty is not mentioned in the histories of 
the towns of Warren and Rehoboth, and the only men- 
tion of Dennis McCarthy in the history of the town of 
Taunton is where his name is included among the Colo- 
nial soldiers who enlisted from that town.-^ However, 
in the town records of Rehoboth there is an entry of 
the marriage of "Dennis IMackmarty of Newport and 
Susanna Perry of Rehoboth" at Providence, R. I., on 
January 14, 1719. In all likelihood "Mackmarty" was 
meant for "McCarthy." The town of Rehoboth is on 
the Providence River opposite Providence, and that part 
of the town known as Seekonk is noted as the place where 
Roger Williams made his settlement in the year 1636. 
Among the births at Rehoboth were "Susanna Mc- 
Cartye" on June 10, 1740; "Rebeccah McCartye" on 
January 14, 1742, and "Rachall McCartye" on March 
7, 1743, all recorded as the children of "Charles and 
Rachall McCartye." "Susannah McCarty of Rehoboth 
and William Love of Coventry, R. I.," and "Rebecca 
McCarty of Rehoboth and William Bishop of Wood- 
stock" declared their "intentions" (of marriage) on No- 
vember 5, 1761, and January 14, 1770, respectively, 
and the McCarty name appears on the vital records of 
the town as late as 1830. 

Alexander McCarty appears in a muster-roll dated 
Boston, February 3, 1761, of a company under the com- 
mand of Captain Thomas Cowdin; rank, private, resi- 
dence, Freetown (Massachusetts), and that he was on 
active service is shown by this entry on the roll: "Re- 
ported 110 miles travel allowance to go home 


" 25 

23 History of Taunton, Mass., by Dr. Samuel H. EUery; p. 427, Syracuse, 
N. Y., 1893. 

24 Rehoboth Vital Records, compiled by James W. Arnold; pp. 236 
and 476; Providence, R. I., 1897. 

25 Massachusetts Archives; Vol. 99, p. 18. 


' ' Florence MeCarty of Boston ' ' served in Captain John 
Johnson's company of Colonel Winslow's regiment in 
1754 "for the defense of the Eastern frontiers." The 
muster-roll is dated Boston, November 8, 1754, but he is 
shown as entering the service on June 12th. of that year 
and is listed on the roll as a ''centinel." In January, 
1760, he served in Captain Samuel Peck's company, 
where he is listed as a sergeant, serving until November 
20th, and in the remarks on the roll opposite his name 
appear: "endorsed company up St. Lawrence River," 
which is a clear indication that he was in the expedition 
organized for the capture of Quebec, although the City 
capitulated in 1759. Another of the name, Florence 
McCarthy, appears on a muster-roll dated Boston, No- 
vember, 1758, of officers and men serving on board the 
Massachusetts ship, King George, commanded by Cap- 
tain Benjamin Hallowell, Jr. He is listed as a seaman, 
and entered the service on March 24th, (probably 1758). 
He is recorded as a resident of Boston.-® 

In the vital records of the town of Medford ^^ there 
is an entry taken from the register of the First Parish 
Unitarian Church at that place, of the baptism of 
"Eleoner Macordy, daughter of one Macordy, Irish," 
under d,ate of March 23, 1729, and there can be no doubt 
that this man's proper name was McCarthy. Another 
entry in the same records says that "John McCordy 
and his wife, Mary," came to Medford from Wobum 
"about May 16, 1755," and although they seem to have 
settled down as permanent residents, being recorded as 
' ' tenants of William Falkner, ' ' they were ' ' warned out ' * 
by the selectmen on December 1, 1755.^^ Evidently, this 
place had some attractions for the McCarthys. John 

26 Massachusetts Archives, Vol. 96, p. 249. 

27 Page 96. 

Zilown Records, in Medford Historical Register; Vol. VIII, p. 42. 

250 THE McCarthys 

McCarthy came to Medford from Boston on December 
3, 1760,'^ and Daniel McCarthy,- Jr., arrived in town 
from Concord on "about July 1, 1762," and was 
"warned out" January 1, 1763.''° No further informa- 
tion as to these people seems to be now obtainable and 
as they are not mentioned in the town history of Med- 
ford, it is probable that they did not long remain in the 

The general lack of details in the Colonial records ren- 
ders it a difficult matter to differentiate between persons 
of the same name when the names appear in the early rec- 
ords of the same locality. For example, in the Town 
Books of Boston there is an entry covering a declaration 
of "Intentions of Marriage" by Daniel McCarty and 
Nelly Finnicey on August 5, 1742, and under date of Jan- 
uary 9, 1743, the marriage of Daniel McCarty and Lucre- 
tia Darby appears ; while, the vital records of the town of 
Medford show that Daniel McCarthy and Mavy Floyd 
were married at that place on March 23, 1746,^^ and in 
the parish register of the local church his name is en- 
tered "Captain Daniel McCarthy." There is no other 
reference to the first two Daniels, but to the last-men- 
tioned two daughters were born at Medford, Mary Mc- 
Carthy on July 21, 1747, and Margaret McCarthy on 
July 11, 1749. Both children died in infancy and their 
gravestones may be seen in the Salem Street cemetery 
at Medford. Captain McCarthy, in all probability, was 
master of a New England merchant vessel trading with 
the West Indies, since such an officer is mentioned in the 
newspapers of the time. For instance, among the mas- 
ters of vessels registered at the Boston Custom House 
as having "Cleared for Departure for West Indies," as 

29 Town Records, p. 15. 

30 Ibid. 

31 Medford, Mass., Vital Records ; p. 261. 


reported in the Weekly News-Letter of March 10, 1748, 
as well in the Evening Post of May 14, was ''Captain 
McCarthy." It is safe to say that all three Daniels 
above mentioned were different persons, and that they 
were natives of Ireland, since there is no entry of the 
birth of any Daniel McCarthy in Massachusetts records. 

It is quite evident that Captain McCarthy was an 
active and prominent man in his chosen business, since 
his name appears as one of the charter members of the 
Marine Society of Boston incorporated at a session of 
the Massachusetts Court on January 25, 1754. An entry 
in the Council records of December 17, 1755, indicates 
that he was master of a vessel called the Rehecca. In 
that month Thomas Boylston, merchant of Boston, pe- 
titioned the Massachusetts Court * ' for a Licence to send 
in the Brig*°® Rebecca, Daniel Maccarty, Master, to the 
Bay of Honduras, one hundred Barrels of Provisions 
with the other part of the Cargo, he giving Bond as 
usual." At its session on December 18, the Council 
"impower'd the Commissioner of Import or his Deputy 
to take Bond of One Thousand Pounds Sterling of the 
Pef for Sureties for landing or disposing of the same 
at the Bay aforesaid ; and that the Master or Chief Offi- 
cer of the said Vessel on his Return make Oath that 
said Provisions were landed or disposed of as aforesaid, 
and on taking said Oath his Bond be cancelled." 

The marital troubles of Daniel McCarthy were aired 
in the Massachusetts General Court on the 14th of June, 
1757. One of the Acts of the Court passed on that date 
was entitled: "An Act for dissolving the Marriage of 
Daniel McCarthy with Mary McCarthy." On the hear- 
ing of a petition for the annullment of his marriage, 
on the ground of his wife's unfaithfulness, the record 
shows that the prayer was granted by "a Decree of His 

252 THE McCarthys 

Majesty's Council made and passed on Friday the tenth 
day of June 1757. ' ' ^^ The decree permitted him to 
marry again, and in all probability this was the same 
Daniel McCarthy who married Mary Floyd at Medford 
on March 23, 1746, and whose second marriage to Anne 
Savage at the Brattle Street church, Boston, appears 
under date of February 1, 1759. In this record he is 
described as of Bedford, Mass., occupation, mariner. 

The Town Books of Boston mention several other peo- 
ple of the name. Jeremiah and Callahan Maccarty were 
appointed "Ticket Porters" by the Selectmen and gave 
"Security according to Law for their good Behaviour 
in said Office," on April 21, 1742, and September 7, 
1743, respectively.'^^ At a town meeting in Faneuil Hall 
on March 11, 1750, William MacCarty was appointed 
by the same body "one of the Clerks of the Market," 
and on March 13, 1753, he was chosen "Constable for 
the year ensuing. ' ' There is also an entry in the Select- 
men 's records showing that Thomas Maccarty was ap- 
pointed a "pay Constable for the year ensuing" on 
March 12, 1753.^'^ "Elect" Maccarty, William O'Neil 
and William Byrne, members of the crew of the priva- 
teer, Defiance, of Newport, R. I., are so mentioned in the 
Boston Town Books of the year 1756. In a list ot 
"property owners at Boston who suffered losses in the 
great fire on March 20, 1760," Thomas McCarthy is 
mentioned as having "sustained a loss of £139. 6s. 8d. 

32 Engrossment bill, in Massachusetts Archives; Vol. IX, p. 418. 

33 There were seventeen "Ticket Porters" appointed on April 21, 1742, 
whose n>\mes were : 

Jeremiah Maccarty John Whaland Patrick Goffe 

Robert McMillion Richard Furnace Robert Wood 

Paul Bryan Thomas O'Bryan Patrick Bourke (2d) 

Patrick Bourke John Keeffe Philip Jones 

Timothy Harney Edward Kelly Thomas Phelan 

James Collins Samuel Sharp 

34 Town Books, Vol. XIV, p. 229. 


to real estate, "^^ and on February 20, 1767, Thomas 
Maccarty was one of a large number of the freeholders 
and inhabitants who petitioned "the Gentlemen Select- 
men of the Town of Boston & her Majesty's Justices of 
the Peace," praying "that a very Commodious Street 
may be laid out" to take the place of "Paddy's Alley" 
which was "burnt out during the great fire" in that 
town on tlie 3rd. of February, 1767. 

Among the Irish immigrants recorded as arriving at 
Boston I find Michael McCarty in the year 1765 and 
Austin and Thomas McCarty and Daniel Carty, all of 
whom arrived in "the Brig Wilmott from Cork, Ire- 
land," on November 15, 1766,^® as well as William Mc- 
Carty, Sallie McCartie and Terence and Edward Mc- 
Carty in "the Ann and Margaret from Ireland" on 
October 14, 1767." In the passenger list of "the sch 
Sally from N. Providence, Abner Holmes, Master," 
which arrived at Boston in August, 1765, "Mr. McCarty, 
a Trader," was listed, and another entry in the Town 
Books also recorded the arrival at Boston on August 28, 
1768, of "Mr. McCarty, a Trader," in "the Sloop, 
DolpMn, from Halifax. ' ' ^^ Still another entry in the 
records says that "Thomas McCarty, a servant inden- 
tured to Messrs. Creed & CoUis, merchants of Boston," 
arHved in the schooner. Speedwell, from St. Croix on 
November 15, 1766. In the same record where these 

35 Town Boohs, Vol. XXIV. Among those who suffered losses in this 
fire were Michael Carroll, Patrick Burke, George Glyn, James Dalton, Sarah 
Larkin, John and Sarah McNeal, Bartholomew Killeran and Patrick Kelley. 

36 Among the passengers on the Wilmott who came from Cork to Boston 
on this voyage were people named: 

Sullivan Kelley Swaney 

Conner Manning Twohey 

Quirk Hagge'rty Bourke 

Ryan O'Daniel McNamara 

Dalton Fitzgerald Coghlin 

37 Port Arrivals — Emif/rants, in Town Books; Vol. XXIX. 

38 Town Books, Vol. XXIX, p. 267. 












254 THE McCarthys 

entries appear there is an item under "Port Arrivals 
— Emigrants," with the date August 15, 1768, of the 
arrival of ''William McCartey, a Marriner," and al- 
though he arrived on board "the Sloop, Sally, from 
Grenada," the presumption is that he came from Ire- 
land. One of the passengers on "the Snow, Catherine, 
from Glasgow," which arrived in Boston on August 29, 
1768, was Sally McCarty who "went from Boston." 
In the Town Books under date of November 21, 1768, 
there is also a list of "fishermen from Newfoundland" 
who came to Boston in the schooner, Hampton, and 
among the names listed are Edward and Terence Mc- 

In the Boston Evening Post of July 5, 1762, among 
masters of vessels registered at the Custom House as 
"Cleared Out," there is an entry showing that a "Cap- 
tain McCarthy" had sailed "for Amsterdam" during 
the previous week, and the issue of that paper of May 
23, 1763, announced the arrival at Boston of "Captain 
McCarthy in a ship from Holland, but last from Ire- 
land. ' ' There is no further mention of him in the news- 
papers about this time, but when we consult "The Min- 
utes of the Meetings of the Selectmen of Boston," we 
find that ' ' Captain Daniel McCarthy, Master of the ship, 
Sally, from Kingsale in Ireland," appeared before the 
Selectmen on May 21, 1763, and "upon Examination 
declared he left said place the 23rd. March and this 
Day arrived at Nastasket Road. ' ' ^^ Information had 
reached the Selectmen that the Sally "had sickness on 
board" and Captain McCarthy was called on to report 
upon the condition of his passengers. He is also men- 
tioned in the New York newspapers as commander of 
a merchant man and in the Gazette and Weekly Mercury 

33 Town Books; Vol. XIX, p. 264. 


of August 18, 1766, there is an account of ''Captain Mc- 
Carthy who, in a large ship belonging to the port of 
Boston, arrived at Barbadoes." I have no doubt 
that all of these items referred to the same identical 

In the Boston Evening Post of February 16, 1766, 
there is an advertisement bearing the caption : 


and to be sold at his house in Union Street 

between the Sign of the Cornfields and the Mill Bridge." 

Then follows a detailed description of the goods for 
sale, which included silks, satins, broglios, laces, Persian 
cloths, ribbons, trimmings, fans, shoes, gloves, muslins, 
cambrics, lawns, gauzes, calicoes, Irish linens and checks, 
thread, worsted, hose, china, glass and delph ware, and 
kitchen utensils in great variety. It was one of the 
longest advertisements in the paper and was repeated in 
every issue down to the 5th. of May, 1766. I am unable 
to find any reference to Daniel McCarthy in Boston 
records or in the newspapers of the time to indicate that 
he was engaged in business as a merchant, but, from the 
fact that the goods were to be sold "at his house," and 
not at his shop as merchants usually announced in their 
advertisements, it is probable that he was the mariner 
before referred to and that he brought the merchandise 
from abroad to be sold to Boston merchants. That he 
was an Irishman there can be no doubt, since there is 
no entry in the vital records prior to this time of the 
birth of any person named Daniel McCarthy. 

An entry in the minutes of a meeting of the Selectmen 
on December 21, 1768, says: "Mr. Savage, one of the 
Town Collectors, presents Captain f Daniel) McCarthy 
for one of his Bondsmen for the faithful discharge of his 

256 THE McCarthys 

Trust,"*" and this is followed by an entry reading: 
''Approved, Captain McCarthy, as Bondsman for Abra- 
ham Savage." Under date of November 20, 1771, he is 
thus referred to in the Totvn Books: "Daniel Maecarty, 
Mariner, and Archibald McNeil were accepted by the 
Selectmen as Bondsmen for Abraham Savage, Collector 
of Taxes, ' ' *^ which fact indicates that he was a sub- 
stantial citizen. In his will he is described as "of Bos- 
ton in the County of Suffolk, in the Province of Massa- 
chusetts Bay, Mariner." The instrument is dated Oc- 
tober 8, 1772, and under its provisions he bequeathed 
his "whole Estate, Real and Personal," to his wife, 
Anna, "to be employed for her Support and for the 
Maintenance, Support and Education of my Children 
in such a manner as in her discretion shall seem meet ; ' ' 
and upon her death or marriage, he directed that his 
estate be divided into three shares, one of which was 
to go to his son, Daniel, and one each to his daughters, 
Anna and Elizabeth. *- 

Among the "Resolves of the General Assembly of the 
State of Massachusetts" in the State Archives at Bos- 
ton, I have found an interesting document concerning 
one Daniel McCarthy of Roxbury and his kinsman, 
Calahan McCarthy. It is a petition dated April 14, 
1779, and reads as follows : "To the Hon'^'^ Council & 
House of Representatives of the State of Massachusetts 
Bay. The Petition of Daniel McCarty humbly Showeth 
that Calahan McCarty, a Native of Ireland and never 
an Inhabitant of America, a near Relation of y'" Peti- 
tioner was prevail 'd on by some of the Inhabitants of 
Antigua to go on Board the Privateer lately taken by the 
Hazard, & is now a Prizoner on Board y^ Guardship in 

40 Town Books, Vol. XX, p. 38. 

41 Ibid., Vol. 23. 

42 Probate Records, Suffolk County, Mass. 


the Harbour of Boston. That your Petitioner urged by 
Humanity towards y^ young Man humbly requests Leave 
from your Honours to take the Prisoner to y'" Petitioners 
House in Roxbury, at which place your Petitioner will 
come under any Bonds to keep him under such Restric- 
tions as your Honours may order, and see him forth- 
coming whenever your Honours shall see fit to order 
him to be exchanged, & as in Duty bound shall ever 

Daniel McCarthy. 
Roxbury, April 14th, 1779." 

Immediately under the entry of the Petition appears 
the following ' ' Resolve ' ' passed by the General Assembly 
on April 16, 1779: ''On the Petition of Daniel Mc- 
Carthy praying that Calahan McCarthy a Prisoner on 
board the Guard-Ship may be admitted to come on Shore 
to the House of the Petitioner. Resolved that the prayer 
of the Petition be granted and that the Commissary 
of Prisoners be & hereby is directed to permit the said 
Calahan McCarthy to come on shore on his Parole that 
he will not do or say anything prejudicial to this or 
any of the United States of America, and provided that 
the Petitioner Daniel McCarthy gives Bonds of One 
Thousand pounds with two Sureties of Five hundred 
pounds each to the Treasurer of this State that the said 
Calahan McCarthy shall not depart the House & limits 
of the Farm of the Petitioner at Roxbury except to 
attend Public Worship on Sabbath Days and will see 
him forthcoming when call 'd for to be exchanged. ' ' 

The document bears the signatures of John Avery, 
Deputy, and John Pickering, Speaker, and of sixteen 
members of the Council, but there is no further mention 
in the record of Calahan McCarthy. 

258 THE McCarthys 

There were two Revolutionary soldiers named Daniel 
McCarthy credited to the town of Roxbury, both re- 
corded in the Massachusetts muster-rolls. "Daniel Mc- 
Carthy, Senior, bom in Ireland," enlisted at Roxbury 
and his name appears in the Continental army pay ac- 
counts showing service from January 1, 1777, to Sep- 
tember 19, 1777, in Captain Job Sumner's company of 
Colonel John Greaton's Massachusetts regiment. An 
entry concerning him in the pay accounts says, that he 
was "reported killed September . . . 1777," and as the 
last day of his service, September 19, 1777, was the date 
of the battle of Saratoga, there is no doubt that it was 
in that memorable fight that the Irish soldier gave up 
his life. Another Daniel INIcCarthy, also of Roxbury 
and also recorded as "bom in Ireland," appears in a 
"return of men raised to serve in the Continental 
army," dated Boston, January 19, 1777. He also served 
in Captain Sumner's company and was "engaged for the 
Town of Roxbury" for three years and was mustered 
out December 31, 1779. These two probably were father 
and son. Evidently, the Daniels of this family were in 
no way scarce in that vicinity, since there were two 
others of the name soldiers of the Revolution. "Daniel 
McCarty, residence Chariest own, " served in Colonel 
Bond's Massachusetts regiment in 1775, and "Daniel 
McCarty of Boston" served on the frigate, Hague, under 
Captain John Manley in 1783. 

The Daniel McCarthy who petitioned the General 
Assembly could not have been either of the Daniels of 
Roxbury who served in the Revolutionary army, since 
the petition is dated April 14, 1779, and the document 
clearly indicates that the petitioner then lived on his 
farm at Roxbury, while one of the Revolutionary sol- 
diers was killed in 1777 and the other continued to serve 


until December 31, 1779. There is no indication in the 
records of the General Assembly that the conditions re- 
quired for the release of Calahan McCarthy were com- 
plied with; yet, since Daniel McCarthy was asked to 
give security in so large a sum as one thousand pounds, 
he must have been regarded as a man of considerable 
means. An ** Honor Roll of Massachusetts Patriots 
Heretofore Unknown, being a list of Men and Women 
who loaned money to the Federal Government, 1777- 
1779," published in the year 1899 by the Massachusetts 
Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, 
contains the name of Daniel McCarthy, and I have no 
doubt that this was the Daniel who interested himself 
in the welfare of his kinsman, Calahan McCarthy. 

That he continued to reside at Roxbury is indicated 
by the fact that "the estate of Daniel McCarty" was 
taxed at that place in the year 1782, and at the session 
of the General Court of Massachusetts held in January, 

1791, Daniel McCarthy was one of fifteen petitioners 
"praying compensation may be made them for lands 
lost in running the line between this Commonwealth 
and the State of New York. ' ' The basis of the petition 
was, that in the year 1771 a tract of 1980 acres "belong- 
ing to a grant of land made to the proprietors of Gro- 
ton" fell within the State of New York, and the peti- 
tioners claimed that 980 acres of this grant were sold 
to them by the proprietors of Groton. On January 24, 

1792, the Court granted the petitioners a quid pro quo 
by directing "that the Committee on the subject of un- 
appropriated land in the County of Lincoln be & are 
hereby impowered to convey & confirm to the said pet 'rs 
such a quantity of the unappropriated land in either of 
the four Eastern Counties in the Commonwealth as the 
Committee shall estimate be worth £245." Daniel Mc- 

260 THE McCarthys 

Carthy was possessed of fifty acres of the tract above 
referred to and the deed of conveyance is on record in 
Middlesex County under date of June 14, 1774. 

The name of Anna, widow of Daniel McCarthy, ap- 
pears in the Roxbury tax lists of the year 1793, and by 
deed dated February 1, 1794, ''Anna McCarthy of Rox- 
bury in the County of Norfolk, Executrix of the last 
Will and Testament of Daniel McCarthy, dec'd, in con- 
sideration of £141 6s. 8d. paid by William Rice of Sud- 
bury, Middlesex County, Gentleman," conveyed to said 
Rice "all her Right, Title, Interest or Estate" in "the 
foregoing Deed, described Land and the Bond thereon 
referred to.'.' This deed was recorded at Cambridge, 
Middlesex County, on February 26, 1794. 

"Mary McCarthy, a poor person in distressed circum- 
stances and not an Inhabitant of any Town in this Prov- 
ince," is so mentioned in the Minutes of the Selectmen 
of the Town of Boston on August 8, 1770, and on Sep- 
tember 20th. of the same year she applied to the Select- 
men "for some assistance in her return to Canada by 
land," when it was "voted that she have Six Dollars 
advanced to her on Province account."*^ In a list of 
twenty-three "Taveners and Retailers" of whom twelve 
were women, authorized by the Selectmen on August 17, 

1774, Mary MeCarty was ' ' approbated by the Selectmen 
to Retail at her Shop on Fore Street North End, ' ' ** and 
still another entry in the Toivn Books on February 3, 

1775, reads: "Mary McCarty received £1 4s. out of 
the Mrs. Brooker bequest" (for poor and indigent 
widows of Boston). Daniel Maccarty is mentioned in 
the Town Books in 1771 as "a poor stranger" whose 
distress was relieved by order of the Selectmen. One 

43 Town Books, Vol. 23, p. 67. 

44 Town Books, Vol. 23, p. 225. 


Dennis McCarty came to America as a soldier in Bur- 
goyne's army, but in 1781 he settled at Northfield, 
Mass., where he lived for many years, and the vital 
records of that town show that he married Keziah Jen- 
nings in 1810.*^ A Massachusetts soldier of the name 
served in the War of 1812, but he could hardly have been 
the Northfield Dennis McCarty. Another Massachusetts 
soldier of the War of 1812 was William McCarty, son of 
William McCarty who as a youth of sixteen marched 
from Worcester in the Lexington Alarm of April 19, 
1775. In all probability, he was a son of Thaddeus and 
was the Revolutionary officer before mentioned. On Jan- 
uary 12, 1812, William McCarty, Jr., married Elizabeth 
Harris, daughter of Thomas Harris, a member of Wash- 
ington 's famous Body-Guard. 

Thomas McCarty, a merchant of Roxbury, is men- 
tioned in the probate records of Suffolk County. On 
October 26, 1783, letters of administration were granted 
to "Sarah McCarty of Roxbury in the County of Suf- 
folk, widow, administratrix of the estate of Thomas Mc- 
Carty, late of Roxbury, merchant, deceased, intestate," 
etc., and "Samuel Sumner of Roxbury, Gentleman, and 
Jacob Hasey Butman of Dorchester, all in the County 
of Suffolk, became bound with the said Sarah for the 
faithful discharge of her trust." On November 11, 
1783, Sarah McCarty presented an inventory of the 
estate amounting to £125 10s. lOd. On the petition of 
"Daniel Sargent of Boston, Guardian of Margarett Mc- 
Carty and Mary McCarty, minors," the Massachusetts 
court on February 26, 1795, resolved "that the said 
Daniel Sargent be empowered to sell the undivided half 
part of the dwelling house and land (mentioned in his 
petition) for the most the same will fetch at public or 

45 History of Northfield, Mass. 

262 THE McCarthys 

private sale." Margaret and Mary McCarty were the 
daughters of Thomas and Sarah McCarty. Among 
"Heads of Families" in the 1790 census of the City 
of Boston a number of McCarthys appear, and, that 
people of the name continued to emigrate from Ireland 
to New England in the early years of the last century, is 
seen from the following names taken from a list of 
''Passengers to America, 1803 and 1804," published in 
the New England Historic-Genealogical Register : **' 

"James McCarty, age 26, Clerk from Dublin" 
"James MeCarty, age 25, Farmer from Wexford" 
"Samuel McCarty, age 25, Labourer from Armagh." 

46 Vols. 60 and 61. 



Owen McCarty, an early settler at New London — Charles Mc- 
Carthy, a founder of the town of East Greenwich, R. I. — 
Timothy McCarty of Newport — His marriage connections — 
The McCartys of Block Island — The Irish settlements on the 
Kennebeck River — The historic town of Cork, Maine — Timothy 
McCarthy, a New Hampshire pioneer — McCarthys in the naval 
service of the Revolution — McCarthys appearing in the Vital 
Records of New England towns — McCarthys as American busi- 
ness and professional men and in the literary field. 

The first of the name in Connecticut evidently was 
Owen McCarty, whose name was recorded in the Town 
Books of New London under ''New Inhabitants that 
appear between 1670 and 1700." He was a resident 
of the town in 1693.^ Among early Connecticut mar- 
riages recorded at Fairfield are those of Ann McCarty 
and James Adair on October 18, 1744, and Elizabeth 
McCarty and Ebenezer Couch on July 29, 1761.^ One 
William McCarty evidently was a resident of Hartford, 
since his name appears in the probate records of the 
town ^ on July 6, 1747, as witness to an agreement cover- 
ing settlement of the estate of Joseph Thompson. Wil- 
liam McCarty, who is mentioned in Stiles' Ancient 
Windsor * as witness to the will of William Thomson of 

1 So mentioned in History of New London, by Frances M. Caulkins ; 
p. 265, New London, 1852. 

2 From Early Connecticut Marriages aa found in the Ancient Church 

3 Vol. IV, p. 42. 

4 Vol. II, p. 754. 


264 THE McCarthys 

Windsor in 1747, and "William McCarty who witnessed 
the will of Samuel Thompson at Ellington, Conn., on 
July 5, 1747,^ may have been the same. A "William 
McCarty also appears in the vital records of the town 
of Wethersfield. John McCarty and Mary, his wife, 
had children, John, William and Nancy, bom to them 
at Norwich between 1765 and 1769.® The son, John, 
probably was the ''Captain John McCarty, commander 
of the ship, Sally, of Norwich," who is mentioned in the 
town history of Norwich as having sailed from that place 
in January, 1799, for the West Indies. We are told 
"The Sally sank in September, 1800, with a cargo of 
salt at her dock in Liverpool. ' ' ^ 

James McCarty with, other inhabitants of Colchester, 
Conn., signed a memorial to the General Assembly in 
May, 1774, ''praying to be made a distinct ecclesiastical 
society ... to be called and known by the name of 
Antioch." ^ Charles Barney McCarthy was another in- 
teresting individual who is mentioned in Connecticut his- 
tory. The historian of the town of Wallingford states 
that "he was a native of Ireland, came to America in 
the latter part of the last (eighteenth) century and 
found his way to Wallingford, a peddler of small articles 
of dry goods. In a few years he was enabled by his 
industry and success in business to build and stock a 
store with dry goods and groceries. He invested largely 
in real estate and lived to an advanced age. He had 
a son, Dr. Charles Barney McCarty, a physician in 
Yalesville, and three daughters."^ Jeremiah McCartie 
served as a Revolutionary soldier from New Milford 

5 Ibid., Vol. II, p. 345. 

e Vital Records of Norwich, Conn. 

7 History of Norwich, Conn., by Frances M. Caulkins; pp. 498-499. 

8 Public Records of Connecticut, Vol. 14. 

9 History of Wallingford, Conn., by Dr. Charles H. S. Davis. 


and Thomas McCartee is mentioned in "the Lexin^on 
Alarm List" of that town in 1775, and in the crew of 
the Continental frigate, Confederacy, recruited at Nor- 
wich, when that vessel was captured by an English war- 
ship off the Capes of Virginia in April, 1781, I find the 
name of Daniel McCarthy, with other sailors and marines 
named Hayes, Powers, Haley, McMullen, Ryan, Court- 
ney, Connel, Carrick, Hagan, Healey, Mooney and Sulli- 

In Rhode Island are also found traces of people of 
this name at a very early period. At a session of the 
General Assembly of Rhode Island, held at Newport in 
the month of May, 1677, an "order" was passed "that 
a certain tract of land in some convenient place in the 
Narragansett country shall be laid forth into one hun- 
dred acre shares, with the house lots for the accommo- 
dation of so many of the inhabitants of this Colony as 
stand in need of land, and the General Assembly shall 
judge fit to be supplied." Under this Act 5000 acres 
were laid forth, five hundred of which were reserved 
for a town to be known as East Greenwich, the remain- 
ing 4500 acres "to be divided in fifty equal shares or 
great divisions. ' ' This grant was made to a company of 
forty-eight settlers, chiefly in recognition of their serv- 
ices in the war with the Narragansett Indians known in 
history as "King Phillip's War." One of these forty- 
eight settlers was Charles McCarthy, whose name is also 
spelled in Rhode Island records Macarte, Macarta, 
Macarty and Makarte, while the same surname borne 
by other early Rhode Islanders is spelled Maccartee and 
McCartie. It is quite probable that Charles McCarthy 
participated in the Indian war, although I fail to find 
his name on any lists of Colonial soldiers of the time 
or in Bodge 's History of King Phillip's War, 1675- 

266 THE McCarthys 

1676 .^'^ That he was a native of Ireland appears to 
be quite certain from his will, dated February 18, 1682, 
which was reproduced in part in the Narragansett Histo- 
rical Register." He seems to have died shortly after 
1682, since the will was entered in the town records of 
the year 1684. 

In the ' ' Minutes of a Meeting of the General Assembly 
held at Newport on May 5, 1679," he was recorded as 
"Charles Mecarte," and is there referred with two others 
as "freemen of the towne of East Greenwich" who "are 
admitted freemen to this Colony." Charles McCarthy's 
will is a curious and interesting document, written, as 
it was, in the peculiar style and phraseology of the 
time. The opening clause reads: "Unto all Christian 
people unto whome these pents (presents) may com know 
yee that I Charles Macarte now of the towne of Est gren- 
wich in the Colony of Rhod Island and providence plan- 
teteons Being in perfact memory but weake in body doe 
meake this my lastt will and testiment." It is evident 
that he was unmarried and had no relatives this side of 
the water, for he named John Spencer, Junior, his "law- 
ful heir" and bequeathed to him his "house and Land or 
Lands in this Towne," and directed that John Spencer, 
Sr., and Richard Dunn act as Guardians to John Spen- 
cer, Jr. "to teak care that my will be parformed." 
All told, he named thirteen persons as the legatees of his 
real and personal property. He left to "John Gerard, 
a poor Countryman of mine, three bushels of come to 
be paid to him presently after my desese." 

A passage in the will makes it clear that Charles 
McCarthy had been a resident of the Island of St. Chris- 
tophers prior to his coming to Rhode Island, and that he 

10 Of the soldiers who fought in this war, 110 bore unmistakable Irish 

11 For April, 1891. 


had a brother that went from Ireland to Spain, whence 
he returned home after the wars. From Kinsale his 
brother wrote him at St. Christophers, on the supposition 
that Charles was still there, urging him to return to 
Ireland. This passage reads: 

"I have a letter that came from my Brother from Kinsale 
after his return from Spaine Being fersed (forced) from 
home in the war in which Letter he sent for mee home; but 
the troubles in Cristifars at that time fersed mee from thence 
to New England and soe hee herd not of mee nor I of him. 

... I will that that Letter with another within it is be 
sent unto him with a letter to signifie unto him how it hath 
been with mee since and when and where I end my dayes." 

From this it may be assumed that Charles McCarthy 
of Rhode Island was a native of Kinsale and that he was 
of the same family as the Virginia and Massachusetts 
McCartys elsewhere mentioned in this book. At what 
time he left Ireland for St. Christophers is unknown, 
as is also the date of his settling in Rhode Island, but 
about that period there were great numbers of Irish 
people in the "West Indies, driven there by the orders of 
Cromwell. In the Island of St. Christophers alone, 
in 1650, there were three thousand Irish Catholics whom 
the Revd. John Destriche, a Catholic priest, visited dis- 
guised as a trader and for whom he is said to have con- 
ducted religious services in the depths of the forest. 
They were persecuted by the English officials of the 
Island because of their religion, as a result of which the 
Irish colony was dispersed in course of time, and we read 
in Virginia records of numbers of Irishmen and Irish- 
women arriving in that Colony and in New England 
during the last quarter of the seventeenth century. It 
is not at all improbable, therefore, that Charles Mc- 
Carthy of Rhode Island had in mind this persecution 

268 THE McCarthys 

and enforced exile when he referred in his will to "the 
troubles in Cristifars." 

A family of the name, and possibly more than one, 
located at Newport, Rhode Island, at a very early date. 
Timothy McCarty, a mariner, was at that place in 1700 
and the probate records of Newport ^^ of the year 1703 
or 1704 indicate that letters of administration to "the 
estate of Andrew MackCartey late of Salem, deceased, 
who lately arrived here," were granted to "his father, 
John MackCartey of Salem." That Timothy McCarty 
was a man of some local prominence is indicated by his 
marriage connections. His marriage to Elizabeth "Wil- 
liams, daughter of John Williams, a merchant of Boston 
and Newport, and who in 1687 was Attorney-General 
of Rhode Island, is on record at Block Island under date 
of November 21, 1700. This John Williams was a son 
of Nathaniel Williams of Boston, who was closely con- 
nected by marriage with Governor Bradstreet. Timothy 
and Elizabeth McCarty had three sons, Daniel, Thomas 
and Joseph, and a daughter, Althea, whose names ap- 
pear with different spellings, one branch of the family 
having changed the name to "Carty. " The marriage 
register of New Shoreham, Block Island, shows that 
Daniel Carty and Elizabeth Trimm were joined in wed- 
lock at that place on July 28, 1721, and the births of 
their children, Catherine and Daniel, also appear in 
the "Vital Records of Rhode Island," ^^ on December 
29, 1723, and May 26, 1726, respectively. Timothy Mc- 
Carty also appears in these records, but his name is 
given erroneously as "Timothy Morey," doubtless be- 
cause of the manner in which it was written in the 

12 The original records are at the Newport Historical Society, but 
are in very bad condition owing to their having been sunk off New 
York during the Revolution. 

13 Compiled by James N. Arnold; 1st Ser. Vol. IV. 


original record. Daniel Carty was a resident of the 
Island as late as 1742, since his name is entered in the 
tax lists of that year, but thereafter he disappears from 
the records, having removed to Westerly, R. I., at which 
place later members of the family are mentioned. 

Timothy McCarty 's other sons are mentioned in ' ' The 
Genealogical Dictionary of Rhode Island"^* in an ac- 
count of the Guttredge family of Newport and Block 
Island. In the will of Robert Guttredge, dated Decem- 
ber 12, 1718, probated June 27, 1723, the testator named 
among the legatees his ''grandson, Thomas Mccarty," 
and to his ''grandsons, Paulsgrove and John Williams, 
Robert Sands and Joseph Mccarty," he left "all the 
rest of his estate." Ann, the mother of Elizabeth (Wil- 
liams) McCarty, and widow of John Williams, married 
Robert Guttredge and by the peculiar method of re- 
ferring to relationships in wills and deeds in those days 
Robert Guttredge described the two sons of Timothy and 
Elizabeth McCarty as his "grandsons." 

Block Island, formerly called New Shoreham, and 
now part of the State of Rhode Island, lies about twenty 
miles off the mainland from Newport, and here the 
Guttredge, Sands, Williams and other families are men- 
tioned among the land owners about the beginning of 
the eighteenth century. Joseph, son of Timothy Mc- 
Carty, inherited a small part of the Guttredge and Wil- 
liams properties and no doubt it was about this time 
that he and his brothers, Daniel and Thomas, removed 
to the bleak island off the Rhode Island coast which was 
then inhabited largely by a tribe known as the Manisses 
Indians. In examining the headstones over the graves 
of the early settlers of the Island, I have noticed some 
bearing the name of Sands and Guttredge, but no Mc- 

14 Edited by John Osborne Austen; Albany, N. Y., 1887. 

270 THE McCarthys 

Cartj^s, and only one of Daniel Carty's children appears 
in the existing church records of the Island, Catherine 
Carty, who married James Stafford of the village of New 
Shoreham on July 18, 1746. 

In the parish registers of Trinity Church at Newport 
are recorded the marriages of Eleanor McCarty and 
John Martin on March 21, 1744, and of Judith McCarty 
and Edward Mitchell on October 28 of the same year, 
and it is probable that Eleanor and Judith McCarty 
were daughters of the Newport sea-captain, Timothy 
McCarty. Dennis and William McCarty settled at 
Warren, Rhode Island, early in the eighteenth century 
and the will of Dennis, dated April 30, 1756, is found 
in the probate records of that town under date of No- 
vember 7, 1757. Like the McCartys of New Hampshire 
hereinafter alluded to, Dennis McCarty, of Warren, 
served as a soldier in the colonial wars, and in the 
preamble to his will he stated that he had been "en- 
gaged in the expedition to Crown Point." He seems 
to have had no relatives, since he divided his property 
including a sum of £402 among several "beloved 
friends" in the town of Warren. 

There was another Dennis McCarty at Bristol, Rhode 
Island, who died at that place in 1760, who also served 
in the French-English war in 1755.^^ William and 
Margaret McCarty, who are listed among "the early 
inhabitants of Bristol" in 1774, are thought to have been 
his only children. 

The Dennis McCartys of Warren and Bristol were not 
the only Rhode Island soldiers of the name who served 
in the French and Indian war. The names of John 
and Benjamin McCarthy are on the roll of Captain John 

15 From a statement by Miss Virginia Baker, a descendant of Dennis 
McCarty, in Journal of the American Irish Historical Society; Vol. VI, 
pp. 59-60. 


"Whiting's Rhode Island company in 1757, and among 
other soldiers in the same company were David and Law- 
rence Carroll, Joseph Dunn, Benjamin KeUey, Charles 
Mahane and Daniel Byrne, and "William Sheehan was 
Lieutenant of the Company in 1759. Owen McCarthy 
served on the privateer, George, of Newport in 1758 and 
in the crew of this vessel we find men named John Burke, 
Michael Callahan, Edward Doyle, Peter Farrell, James 
Lynch, Thomas McGivar and Humphrey Sullivan. Ed- 
ward McCarthy enlisted at Newport for the campaign of 
1762 and William McCarthy served in Colonel Rose's 
Rhode Island regiment in the same year.^^^ 

In the early years of the eighteenth century two sepa- 
rate colonies of Irish people located in that part of the 
Province of Massachusetts Bay now embraced in the 
State of Maine. They settled chiefly in the section bor- 
dering on the east of the Kennebeck and south of the 
Eastern River, in Lincoln and Sagadohac Counties, and 
in after years this district furnished large quotas of men 
to the patriot ranks in the war for American independ- 
ence. In the year 1640, one Christopher Lawson ac- 
quired from the Indians a large tract of land on the 
Kennebeck and named it "Ireland," and in 1717 "Rob- 
ert Temple of Cork purchased the Lawson plantation and 
settled it with families from Cork in Ireland and it still 
retains the name of Ireland."" Temple himself gave 
an account of this project in a letter dated Charlestown, 
Mass., April 17, 1753, addressed to "The Plymouth 
Proprietors, ' ' and a copy of this document may be read 
in a quaint little book entitled A Defence to the Be- 

15a. List of Rhode Island Soldiers and Sailors in the old French and 
Indian War, 1755-1762, compiled from the original rolls at the Rhode 
Island Historical Society, by Howard M. Chapin; Providence, 1918. 

16 1400 Dates of the Town and City of Bath, Maine, by Levi P. 
Lemont. Also Maine Historical Society Collections; 2nd Ser. Vol. IV, 
p. 240. 

272 THE McCarthys 

marks of the Plymouth Colony, published in Boston 
in 1753, Temple stated that in 1717 he "chartered two 
large Ships and in the next year three more Ships to 
bring Families from Ireland in order to carry on the 
Settlement, in consequence of which several Hundred 
People were landed in Kennebeck River, some of which 
or their Descendants are Inhabitants there to this day." 
He relates that "we gave the name of Cork" to a dis- 
trict near the junction of the Kennebeck and Eastern 
Rivers, where some of the Irish families were settled, 
but in 1722 the place was attacked by the Indians and 
Temple's dreams went up in the smoke caused by the fires 
of the savages, and the little community was soon dis- 
persed. Some removed to Pennsylvania and others to 
Derry, N. H., and others scattered toward Georgetown 
and the neighboring settlements in Lincoln and York 
Counties, Maine. Much interesting information regard- 
ing these primitive Irish settlements may be obtained 
from the Massachusetts Archives^'^ in the Collections 
of the Maine Historical Society and in an account of 
"The Lost Town of Cork, Maine," in the Journal of 
the American Irish Historical Society.^^ 

Among those who came in these early Irish immigra- 
tions to Maine it is evident there were a number of 
MacCarthys, and the name is found in the vital records 
of towns in various parts of the State, although nothing 
is now known of their history. The local historians 
make hardly any reference to them, and their descend- 
ants, if any remain in that territory, evidently have 
been lacking in that family and racial pride which has 
prompted the descendants of people of other races to 
place their story on record. The first appearance of 

17 Vol. XXIX, pp. 57 to 63 and p. 68. 

18 Vol. XIII. 


the name in the public records was when "Thaddeus 
Makerty" was recorded as a witness to a deed dated 
February 27, 1684, covering- the sale of a tract of land 
in York County.^^ There cannot be much doubt that 
this was the Thaddeus MacCarty of Boston already 
alluded to. Thomas Maccarty appears in the same 
records as witness to a deed dated January 6, 1706, 
between James Russell and John Smith, covering a con- 
veyance of lands known as Martyn's Point on Casco 

Among "Marriages in Kittery solemnised by Revd. 
John Newmarch," ^^ there is an entry: "John Mackar- 
trie and Mary Starrett" under date of November 26, 
1723, and that a family of the name was also at Scar- 
boro, Maine, is shown by the record of the marriage 
at that place, on June 21, 1736, of Alice MacCarty and 
Samuel Winch. From a "Book of Entry of Intentions 
of Marriage in Georgetown" ^^ it is noted that "Timothy 
Roak and Margrate McCarty" were joined in wedlock 
on August 19, 1747, and in at least one case in Maine 
the name was changed to "McCordy." Among the 
births recorded at Bristol and Bremen, Me., between 
1760 and 1779 there are nine children of "John and 
Anna McCordy," and Ruth McCordy and Daniel Sally 
were married at Bremen on January 1, 1779. John 
McCarthy and Mary Miller were married in the Second 
Church at Falmouth (now Portland) Maine, on April 
21, 1768; "Mr. McCartey and Widow Daley, both of 
Gardinerstown, " entered into the bonds of matrimony 

19 York, Maine, Records; Book VI, fol. 27; Maine Historical Society, 

20 Ibid., Vol. VII, p. 78. 

21 Id Maine Genealogist and Biographer, Vol. I. 

22 Maine Historical Society publications, Vol. III. 

274 THE McCarthys 

at Halloweli, Maine, on September 18, 1771 ; ^^ and in 
a list of "Persons who had children baptised in the 
Presbyterian church at Scarborough, ' ' -* there is an 
entry reading: "Jane Harrison, daughter of John and 
Mary McOaprtey, September 26, 1773." 

John McCarty and Owen Madden were appointed 
executors of the will of James Moloney of Saint George's, 
Lincoln County, dated June 20, 1781,^^ and John Mc- 
Carty 's will was recorded on February 5, 1789, in the 
name of "John McCarter of St. George's." He named 
as legatees his son, John, and daughters, Mary, Eliza- 
beth, Margaret, Martha and Jane McCarty. The his- 
torian of the towns of Bristol and Bremen, Maine, states 
"the first settlement in Westport is said to have been 
made by Florence McCarty at McCarty 's Cove on the 
east shore. " ^^ No date is given, but a Florence Mc- 
Carthy is mentioned as "one of the earliest settlers at 
Wiscassett, Maine, in 1786," and a person of the name 
is mentioned in the Town Register of Georgetown among 
•a number of other Irish settlers. Florence McCarty and 
Margaret Cockrin were married at Pownalborough, 
Maine, on January 28, 1787. It is possible that all four 
of these items refer to the same identical person. One 
Joseph LlcCarthy, a resident of Haverhill, Mass., also 
figures among the early settlers in Maine. His name 
appears /as one of the signers to a petition to the Gen- 
eral Court of Massachusetts, dated at Haverhill Jan- 
uary 6, 1762, "for permission to settle on lands between 
the Passamaquoide and St. Croix Rivers."" The lo- 
cation of these lands would be in what is now the most 

23 Extracts from Town Books of Halloweli, in Maine Genealogist and 
Recorder, Vol. I. 
2ilbid., Vol. II. 

25 Probate Records of Lincoln County. 

26 Johnston's History of the Towns of Bristol and Bremen, Maine, 

27 Massachusetts Archives, 


easterly section of Maine on the New Brunswick border. 
There was a Philip Cartey at Exeter, New Hamp- 
shire, as early as 1667, who, doubtless, was of the Mac- 
Carthy family. By deed dated April 27, 1667, John 
Sinkler of Exeter and his wife, Mary, conveyed to 
Philip Cartey fifteen acres of land at that place and 
the deed was filed in court on October 8, 1667.^^ In 
the records of Norfolk County, Mass., Phillip Cartey 
and Dennis Seahone are mentioned under date of June 
24, 1667. "Teague Drisco of Exiter" conveyed to 
Phillip Cartey ten acres of land at Exeter, described as 
''bounded by land formerly Jeremiah Conaw's ye most 
way and land ye towne gave Cornelius Lary." The 
deed was acknowledged before Samuel Dalton, Commis- 
sioner, on December 10, 1674, and is recorded in Nor- 
folk County.^^ No one having any knowledge of Irish 
names will dispute the correctness of the assumption 
that "Teague Drisco" was an Irishman named Teague 
Driscoll, for indeed the pronomen, "Teague," ^" at once 
stamps him as an Irishman. And it is also probable 
that Dennis Seahone and Cornelius Lary were fellow- 
countrymen named respectively Sheehan and Leary. 
That Cornelius Lary was an Irishman is verified by the 
New England historian, Dr. George T. Little, who, in 
referring to the military records of some of his descend- 
ants, who served in the Colonial and Revolutionary 
wars, states "the fact is indisputable that the Lary 
family were patriots and of the fighting blood that has 
been the gift of Celtic ancestry. ' ' All four of these New 
England pioneers are listed among the one hundred or 
more colonial soldiers of Irish names who served in 
King Phillip's War in New England in 1675-1676, and 

28 See Essex Antiqua/rian ; Vol. VI, p. 134. 

29 Ibid., Vol. XII, p. 182. 

30 Irish for ThaddeuB. 

276 THE McCarthys 

Philip Cartey, Cornelius Lary, Jeremiah Conaugh, 
Teague Drisco and James Higgins are also listed among 
"Persons who paid Rates in Exeter in 1680." ^^ 

Esther Maccarty signed as witness to "articles of 
apprenticeship" filed in New Hampshire, dated Janu- 
ary 10, 1716, by which Richard Whitehom ' ' bound him- 
self to George Brownell of Boston, Schoolmaster," who 
undertook "to teach him writeing, reading, syphering 
and to cause him to be instructed in the arte or mistery 
of a cooper. ' ' ^^ This George Brownell was one of Ben- 
jamin Franklin's early tutors. 

One McCarthy is mentioned in the New Hampshire 
State Papers as a settler at Londonderry, N. H., in 1739. 
John Carty signed a "petition to the General Court to 
form a Parish" with other inhabitants of Epping, N. H., 
on January 15, 1741, and John Carty, possibly the same, 
enlisted as a soldier for the colonial war in Captain 
Abraham Trefithin's New Hampshire company,^^ date 
of enlistment May 7, 1746 ; and as a petitioner for lands 
he appears under date of January 11, 1748.^* "Jerry 
Carty" served in Colonel Moore's New Hampshire regi- 
ment at the capture of Louisburg, Cape Breton, in 1745, 
and in the French-English war, 1755-1760, among 
ninety-nine soldiers from New Hampshire bearing dis- 
tinctive Celtic names, who served at Crown Point and 
in other expeditions, are found such names as John, 
Daniel and Jeremiah Carty and Joseph McCarthy. 

John McCarthy is mentioned in the State Papers as 
one of the grantees of Thornton, N. H., under the char- 
ter for the organization of the town dated July 6, 1763.^^ 

31 Provincial Papers of New Hampshire, Vol. I, p. 426. 

32 State Pavers of New Hampshire ; Vol. 17, p. 748. 

33 76a., Vol. 18, p. 427. 
Zilhid., Vol. 27. 

35 /bid.. Vol. 25, p. 576. 


This town was named in honor of Matthew Thornton, 
Colonel of a New Hampshire militia regiment in the 
Revolutionary war and a Signer of the Declaration of 
Independence. Thornton was a native of Limerick, Ire- 
land. In 1773 John McCarthy joined with Matthew 
Thornton, Robert, John and William Gilmore, David 
and James McKean, Roger Magrath and others in a 
petition to the New Hampshire General Assembly "for 
changing the County lines. ' ' ^° 

In the genealogy of the Gale family of Sanbornton, 
N. H.,^^ there is an account of "John Gale, the earliest 
settler of the name in the town," who married Susan 
McCarthy at Exeter, N. H. No date is given, but John 
Gale and his wife lived at Sanbornton in 1768, and he 
is mentioned in County records of the years 1771-1772 
and in 1778 they moved to New Boston, N. H., where 
John Gale died in 1802. The town historian states: 
"Of Susan McCarthy's father there is the following 
romantic legend among her descendants in this vicinity : 
that he was sent from Ireland when a boy by his aunt 
who wished to secure a large property which he was 
to have inherited. His parents had died and she con- 
signed him to a sea-captain to be taken to parts unknown. 
He was finally left at Exeter where he had married and 
could not return, when his aunt, having learned of his 
destination, repented on her death-bed and sent for 
him." In the genealogy of the Huckins family of 
New Hampshire ^^ it is shown that Eunice Gale Mc- 
Carthy, a daughter of Daniel McCarthy, was bom at 
Sanbornton on July 29, 1797, and that on August 18, 
1821, she became the wife of Daniel Huckins, then of 

3« Ibid., Vol. 18. 

37 In History of Sanbornton, by Rev. M. T. Runnels ; Vol. II, Boston, 


38 In New England Eiatoric-Qenealogieal Register, Vol. 69. 

278 THE McCarthys 

Bangor, Maine. The indications are that the Daniel 
McCarthy here mentioned was a son of the young Irish 
exile and that the period of the Mter's arrival in New 
Hampshire was about the year 1745. 

The activities of one Timothy McCarthy in the devel- 
opment of new towns and settlements in New Hampshire 
are noted from an examination of the State Papers. For 
example, he is recorded as one of the ' ' original grantees ' ' 
of the towns of Colebrook, Dryden and Fairfax, and his 
name appears on the original charters of these towns 
dated June 26, 1762, June 27, 1762, and August 18, 
1763, respectively.^^ However, I cannot find a Tim- 
othy McCarthy as a permanent settler at any of these 
places and it is my impression that he was a surveyor 
employed to lay out the towns, although the fact that 
he is mentioned as one of the "original grantees" of 
each of these towns makes it fairly certain that he was 
interested financially in their beginnings. One Charles 
McCarty was a resident of Londonderry, N. H., in 1775 
and his name appears in the muster-roll of Colonel 
John Stark's regiment on August 1st of that year. 
John McCarty of Londonderry also enlisted in the same 
regiment in 1779 and it is of some interest to note that 
in the rolls of this regiment also appear such names as 
Kelley, Callahan, Egan, McGrath, McClary, McMurphy, 
McLaughlin, McNeil, McCrillis, McGaffey, McShannon, 
McDuffie, McConnel, Burke, Broderick, Moore, Casey, 
Dwyer, Roach, Nealey, Walsh, Connor, Lyons, Powers, 
Nevins, Collins, Dalton, Taggart, Lynch, Ryan and 
O'Neill. This regiment saw considerable active service, 
beginning with the battle of Bunker Hill, at the siege of 
Boston, at Ticonderoga, in Washington's retreat through 

39 State Papers of New Hampshire, Vols. 24 and 26. 


New Jersey, at Trenton, Princeton and other engage- 

A Timothy McCarthy is mentioned as one of the or- 
iginal patentees of Milton, Vermont, on the east shore 
of Lake Champlain, under the charter for the organ- 
ization of the town dated June 18, 1763, signed by Gov- 
ernor Bennington Wentworth. He appears among the 
early settlers at that place prior to the Revolution.*" 
Another of the name in Vermont was Hugh McCarty, 
one of the earl}^ settlers at Arlington. He w'ag a sol- 
dier of the Revolution and in the Council Records of 
Vermont under date of October 11, 1781, there is a 
petition by Hugh McCarty praying for relief, followed 
by a resolution of the Committee of Safety directing 
the Treasurer "to pay to Hugh McCarty ten pounds, 
which money was granted to him by the General As- 
sembly in October last on account of his being a pris- 
oner among the British in Canada the year past. ' ' *^ 

At least three of the name were masters of New Eng- 
land privateers during the Revolution. From the com- 
mencement of the war until its close the towns along 
the New England coast were largely engaged in priva- 
teering and many are the stories of daring and adven- 
ture that are told of the "Yankee privateersmen " who 
preyed on British commerce, and brought into American 
ports numerous prizes of war, the cargoes of which fur- 
nished important and seasonable supplies for the Con- 
tinental army. Not a few of the hardy commanders 
of American privateers during the two wars for inde- 
pendence were Irishmen, and in the fugitive references 
that I have found to the personnel of their crews, it is 
also seen that they had in their command many a patriot 

40 Rann's History of Chittenden, Yt. 

41 Council Records of Vermont, Vol. II. 

280 THE McCarthys 

son of "the fighting race."" A Captain McCarthy of 
Boston was master of a privateersman during the early- 
years of the Revolution. I believe him to have been 
identical with the Captain Daniel McCarthy before men- 
tioned as commander of the ship Sally, trading out of 

Among New England mariners who made New Lon- 
don their home port during the Revolutionary period, 
and who are mentioned as masters of vessels chartered 
as privateers, were Captains Richard McCarty and John 
McCarthy, who in all probability were brothers. Very 
little is known of Captain Richard, but we are told that 
"he was wrecked on May 17, 1779, in a snow-storm off 
Plum Island (Newburyport, Mass.), and himself and 
his crew of six persons were lost. '"^^ In the ' ' Narrative 
of John Hempstead" relating to the destruction of New 
London during the Revolutionary war, the name of Cap- 
tain John McCarthy is mentioned as being "on the 
hunt for a tory," and it would appear that he was en- 
gaged in this diversion during one of his visits to his 
home port. He was master of the Black Princess, and 
from an announcement of his capture printed in the 
New York Gazette and Weekly Mercury of December 
17, 1781, we may safely assume that the reputation of 
the gallant Irish captain was not unknown to his enemies. 
This account reads: "Her Majesty's Frigate, the 
Medea, Captain Duncan, on her passage from the Chesa- 
peake took the Black Princess of 24 twelve pounders 
and 170 men, commanded by the noted McCarty." 

In a " list of Americans committed to old mill Prison, 

42 See Journal of the American Irish Historical Society (Vol. 17) 
for an account of the many Irish sea-captains of the Revolutionary 


43 History of New London, Conn., by Frances Caulkins, p. 540 ; New 

London, 1852. i 


England, during the War," reproduced by the New 
England Historic-Genealogical Society/* there appears 
the name of "Captain Edward McCarty of the Black 
Princess, taken October 11, 1781," but it is probable 
that this refers to Captain John McCarthy, since there 
is no mention of an "Edward McCarty" in the service 
of any of the naval establishments of the Colonies. 
After the war, Captain John McCarthy continued in 
the merchant service and his name appears several times 
in shipping records as commander of New England ves- 
sels. He died on a voyage from the West Indies to New 
London in the year 1804. His children were John, 
Rebecca, Elizabeth and Abby. The son removed to Wis- 
consin and settled as a trader in what is now the vicinity 
of Green Bay, and as the daughters removed to Albany, 
N. Y., it is quite likely that Captain John was of the 
McCarthy family of that City, referred to elsewhere 
in this book. Elizabeth McCarthy became the wife of 
Samuel Forman, of Syracuse, and Rebecca and Abby 
married Schuyler and Sanders Van Rensselaer, respec- 
tively, both of Albany. Another of the McCarthys, 
Charlotte Amelia, daughter of Andrew McCarthy, a rela- 
tive of Captain John, married Henry Van Bergen of 
Catskill, and Richard McCarty married Elizabeth Van 
Bergen in the year 1798.*^ 

Another noted New England mariner in his day was 
Captain Justin McCarthy, who was bom in Cork, Ire- 
land, in the year 1766. The exact time of his arrival in 
America is unknown, but he is mentioned as of Salem, 
IMass., at the close of the Revolution and there is a record 
of his marriage at Salem to Lydia Lawrence on April 
14, 1790, and of his joining the Essex Lodge of Masons 

44 Vol. 19. 

45 Van Bergen Genealogy, in Oenealogiea of New York and New Eng- 
land FamUiea, by C. V. Talcott. 

282 THE McCarthys 

there on May 1, 1798.*® He died on September 7, 
1802, and from an account of his death in the Salem 
Register we learn that "he was highly esteemed in pri- 
vate life and was an accomplished mariner. As a citizen 
he was deserving and had the confidence of all who knew 
him. He was interred with masonic honors and was 
followed to the grave by a numerous band of mourners. 

Among New England seamen of Irish birth or blood 
who served on vessels of the Massachusetts Navy in the 
Revolution, the McCarthys make a creditable showing. 
Daniel McCarthey was midshipman on the frigate 
Deane; Jeremiah McCarthy was boatswain's mate on 
the frigate Boston, and among the seamen and marines 
were Andrew and Daniel McCarthy who served on the 
frigate Hague, James McKarty and Justin McCarty on 
the General Mifflin, Francis McCarthy and Timothy Mc- 
Carthy on the ship Protector, Francis McCarty on the 
sloop Defence, John McCarty on the ship Mars, and 
Timothy McCarty on the ship Hazard. 

From the muster-rolls of the New England regiments 
of the Line and of the Provincial Militia, I have secured 
the names of 32 Revolutionary soldiers of the name. I 
have not made any effort to ascertain the records of 
these men and cannot say in all cases where in New 
England they resided before or after the war ; but, from 
the fact that many of them enlisted "for the duration 
of the war," or "for three years," we may assume that 
they were enthusiastic soldiers of American liberty. 
However, several of these men enlisted at Boston, which 
indicates that they were residents of that City. Others 
enlisted from Roxbury, Charlestown, Scituate, Lunen- 
burg, and Pelham, Mass.; from Pownalsboro, Vt., and 

48 He was one of fifteen members of the Lodge, all sea-captains and 
all natives of Ireland. See Historical Collectiom of the Essex Institute, 
Vol. Ill; Salem, Mass. 


Machias, Me. References to the extracts from the vital 
records of New England towns at page 309 will show 
that other people of the name, besides those mentioned 
in the text, were in New England in the eighteenth cen- 
tury. Their names are found in the birth, marriage and 
death records of such old Puritan towns as Billerica, 
Dorchester, Hanover, Medford and Manchester in Massa- 
chusetts; at Fairfield, Canterbury and Glastonbury in 
Connecticut ; at Westminster, Rhode Island ; at Scarboro, 
Falmouth, Hallowell, Georgetown and Kittery, in Maine, 
exclusive of those who enlisted in the Revolutionary 
army from other New England towns. When so many 
persons of the name are recorded, and in widely-sepa- 
rated parts of the Colony, no one can dispute the asser- 
tion that large numbers of McCarthys emigrated from 
Ireland to the New England provinces, especially when 
we consider the fact that only a fraction of the total 
number of any surname, at any time, usually appear in 
public records. 

It is indeed surprising to find so many descendants 
of such an old Irish family living among the New Eng- 
land Puritans, the antipathy of many of whom toward 
the Irish manifested itself in all their dealings with 
those unfortunate exiles. It is evident that it was not 
so much their nationality as it was their religion that 
the Puritans objected to, and in the case of the three 
most prominent of the name in New England, namely 
Thaddeus, Thomas and Florence of Boston, there cannot 
be the slightest doubt that originally they professed 
the Catholic faith. So, we must assume that they con- 
formed to the Protestant religion very soon after their 
arrival in America, for otherwise they could not have 
risen to the important stations occupied by them in the 
business and social life of their time. 

284 THE McCarthys 

Many others of the name besides those mentioned 
herein have figured in the social and business life of 
various American communities with credit to their name 
and race, and a remarkably large number of McCarthys 
appear in the Directories of American cities as physi- 
cians, lawyers, engineers and school teachers. Florence 
McCarthy was "one of the highly esteemed merchants 
of the City of Richmond, Va.,"*^ during the first half 
of the last century. He and his wife were natives of 
Ireland, and of their five sons who served in the Con- 
federate ranks in the Civil War, one of them was Cap- 
tain of the Richmond Howitzers and was killed in battle 
and another is the Honorable Carlton McCarthy, an 
esteemed citizen of Richmond and Mayor of the City 
about twenty years ago. Carlton McCarthy is the au- 
thor of several books, one of which, "Soldier Life in 
the Army of Northern Virginia," is a highly interest- 
ing account of his personal experiences in the field. In 
Illinois and Iowa there are many people of the name, 
engaged mainly in agricultural and mercantile pursuits, 
and a veiy prominent member of the family in the west 
is Michael Henry IMcCarthy of Dubuque, who has been 
actively identified for many years with extensive coal 
and lumber enterprises on the Mississippi and its tribu- 
taries. Three of his sons served in France in the World 

In the literary field the American McCarthys, follow- 
ing the bent of some of their kinsmen in Ireland, have 
not been inactive. At the Library of Congress there 
are approximately two hundred book titles copyrighted 
by wTiters of the name, bearing the imprint of American 
publishing houses. Among these may be mentioned 
Dwight G. McCarty of Emmetsburg, Iowa, author of 

i7 Encyclopedia of American Biography, by Dr. Lyon G. Tyler; Vol. IV. 


a History of Palo Alto County, Iowa, The Territorial 
Governors of the Old Northwest, and other valuable 
contributions to the early history of the west; Gerald 
McCarthy of North Carolina, a prolific writer on such 
subjects as agriculture, silk culture, tobacco and fruit 
cultivation, published during the past thirty years at 
Raleigh, N. C. ; Dr. Charles H. McCarthy, Professor 
at the Catholic University of America, author of a His- 
tory of the TJyiitcd States for Catholic Schools, and of 
Lincoln's Plan of Reconstruction; Dr. Charles Mc- 
Carthy, Librarian of the Wisconsin State Library, au- 
thor of several works on civics, politics, agriculture and 
education; William McCarty of Philadelphia, compiler 
and publisher of several collections of national songs 
and ballads; Rev. Dr. Joseph H. McCarthy, author of 
a very interesting book on Mexico entitled. Two Thou- 
sand Miles Through the Heart of Mexico, and one of 
the "sweet singers" of the present day in America is 
Denis A. McCarthy of Boston, author of four volumes 
of exquisite poetry. 

Several of the family are mentioned in the Canadian 
records. Dalton McCarthy, a distinguished lawyer of 
Toronto, was a descendant of Captain Donal Mor Mac- 
Carthy, one of the commanders of the Irish forces in 
the Rebellion of 1798, who emigrated to Canada, where 
he died in the year 1825. Others of his descendants 
reside at St. Paul, Minnesota. Cornelius and Charles 
McCarthy are prominent lawyers in that City and others 
of the family occupy executive positions on Western 
railroads. Le Comte Joseph Henri Auguste de Mac- 
Cartliy and Justin MacCarthy were Canadian writers 
during the first decade of the last century, whose books 
were published in the French language at Quebec and 
Montreal, and Jean MacCarthy, descendant of one of 


the Irish exiles to France, was a noted traveler in his 
time and was the author of a ten-volume work on his 
"travels in the four quarters of the earth" in the year 
1806, published at Paris in 1821 and 1822, two volumes 
of which are in his Voyages en Amerique. 



McCarthys fought in every war in which America has been en- 
gaged—Many officers of the name in the War of 1812, the 
Mexican and Civil Wars, and the Spanish-American War- 
Colonel Daniel E. McCarthy was the first American soldier to 
set foot on the soil of France in the World War— McCarthys 
who served their country in the War of the Revolution — 14 
officers and 335 enlisted men— The Government publication, "A 
Century of Population Growth," analyzed— McCarthys omitted 
from the Census of 1790— Conclusion. 

No more apt expression has ever been used to describe 
a distin^ishing characteristic of any people than the 
terse and popular phrase, ''The Fighting Race," ap- 
plied to the Irish by Joseph I. C. Clarke in his famous 
poem known by that title. The willingness of the Celt 
to fight in any cause, especially in a just cause, is a 
byword of time, since it is exemplified by the history 
of the race all down through the centuries. They have 
carried on a long fight for the freedom of their own 
land, and although they have been repulsed and dis- 
heartened times out of mind, the spirit of nationality 
has never been extinguished in Ireland, and to-day there 
is every indication that the aspirations of her people 
will soon be realized. They have fought for England 
on sea and land, and it is a pitiful irony of fate that 
they have helped by their numbers and their prowess 
as soldiers to establish English rule under every sun. 
They have fought for France, Spain and Austria, and 
on every battlefield in Continental Europe from 
mediaeval times down to the recent World War, the 


288 THE McCarthys 

"Irish Yell" has been heard above the strife and often 
has brought terror and dismay to the opposing forces. 
Long before the Revolution the Irish began to come to 
America, and in the muster-rolls of the troops who 
fought in the colonial wars against the French and In- 
dians, Irish names stand out prominently. In the War 
of the Revolution, it has been proved, by a careful and 
conservative computation from the muster-rolls and 
other records, that the Irish immigrants and their de- 
scendants furnished thirty-eight per cent, of the fight- 
ing men, and this, notwithstanding the fact that the 
Irish constituted a much smaller proportion of the popu- 
lation of the Colonies.^ The War of 1812, the Mexican 
and Civil Wars, and the Spanish-American war, each 
in turn gave opportunities to the Irish in America, and 
in the recent World strife they met the test with the 
same spirit that they have always displayed when the 
interests of their country were at stake. Their record 
as a "Fighting Race" stands unchallenged, even by 
their enemies. 

Many officers of the name are listed in the rosters 
of the armies of the United States at various times. 
Patrick McCarty served in the "Whiskey Rebellion" in 
Western Pennsylvania in 1794, and on March 3, 1799, 
he was appointed Lieutenant of the Third United States 
InfantrJ^ In the War of 1812, John McCarthey was 
Lieutenant of the Sixteenth Infantry; Lieutenant John 
McCartey of the Twenty-Third Infantry was made pris- 
oner at Queenston Heights, Canada, on October 13, 1812, 
and was promoted to Captain on June 14, 1814, and 
Captain William McCarthy commanded a New York 
Volunteer Corps in the War of 1812. In the Mexican 
War, we find James C. McCarty, Lieutenant of the Fifth 

1 See my book, A. Hidden Phase of American History. 


Tennessee Infantry; John McCarty, Lieutenant of the 
First Texas Volunteers and later Captain of Texas 
Rifles; William M. McCarty, Lieutenant-Colonel of the 
Third Indiana Infantry, and Justus I. McCarty was 
appointed Captain of New York Infantry on February 
27, 1847, and Major of the Tenth United States Infantry 
on March 3rd of the same year. 

In the Civil War, officers of the name served on both 
sides. Jeremiah McCarthy was Captain of the First 
Pennsylvania Artillery ; Florence L. McCarthy was First 
Lieutenant of the 59th New York Infantry and was 
made Captain on May 18, 1865; Rev. Patrick F. Mc- 
Carthy was Hospital Chaplain of United States Volun- 
teers; Lieutenant Patrick McCarthy served with the 
69th New York ; Lieutenant Charles McCarthy with the 
63rd New York Volunteers; Captain Patrick McCarthy 
with the Fourth New York, and John McCarthy was 
First Lieutenant and Adjutant of the Third New York, 
all four of these regiments having been part of Cor- 
coran 's Irish Legion, and Captain Charles McCarthey 
served with the 175th New York Regiment. Among the 
Virginians in the Confederate Army were : William Page 
McCarty, Captain of Artillery, who is described in an- 
nals of the war as "a very gallant soldier"; Clinton 
McCarty, Major of Kentucky troops and afterwards 
Adjutant-General on the staff of General Hawes; Wil- 
liam S. McCarty, First Lieutenant of Confederate States 
Artillery which surrendered at Appomattox in 1865 ; 
Daniel MeCarty was an officer in the same corps ; James 
Ball McCarty was Captain of the Ninth Virginia 
Cavalry; Stephen Washington McCarty, a Confederate 
officer, was killed at the first battle of Manassas ; William 
Thaddeus McCarty was Captain of the "University Vol- 
unteers," serving in General Henry A. Wise's Brigade; 

290 THE McCarthys 

James W. McCarty was Lieutenant and Adjutant of 
Ashby's Virginia Cavalry; Edward McCarthy, Captain 
of the Richmond Howitzers, was killed at the battle 
of Cold Harbor in June, 1864, and John W. McCarty, 
Adjutant of the Seventh Virginia Cavalry, fought at 
Gettysburg, "where," a description of him says, "he 
proved himself, as always, fearless of danger. ' ' 

Serving in the infantry regiments in the Spanish- 
American war, we find Captain Daniel McCarthy of the 
famous 69th New York; Captain Thomas McCarthy of 
Massachusetts troops; Timothy F, McCarthy, Captain 
of the Third New Jersey ; William W. McCarthy, Lieu- 
tenant of the Second Kansas; Jeremiah F. McCarthy, 
Lieutenant of the First Georgia; John F. McCarthy, 
Lieutenant, 35th Infantry United States Army; Dr. 
William D. McCarthy, Major-Surgeon of the First Cali- 
fornia, and Daniel E. McCarthy, Major and Quarter- 
master of United States Volunteers. 

The last-mentioned officer is now Colonel, Quarter- 
master Corps of the United States Army, and had the 
distinction of being the first American soldier to set foot 
on the soil of France in the recent World War! In 
an account of his personal experiences in the war, sent 
to me by Colonel McCarthy, he states that under "Gen- 
eral Orders Number 1, American Expeditionary Force," 
he was appointed Chief Quartermaster, and on May 
28, 1917, he left New York for England accompanied 
by other officers and enlisted men. On June 10th Gen- 
eral Pershing ordered him to France, as President of 
a Board of Officers to select the ports of debarkation 
for the American troops, and on the same evening they 
arrived at Boulogne. "As the commanding officer of 
the party," writes Colonel McCarthy, "I went down the 
gang plank first, which gave me the honor of being the 


first man of the American Expeditionary Force to land 
in France." In his travels through France, Colonel 
McCarthy says that he ''was very much impressed with 
the number of French people of Irish extraction. " ' ' At 
Bordeaux, when I was introduced to a French Engineer 
officer, he threw his arms around me and stated that his 
grand-mother was a McCarthy and invited me out to 
visit her at her Chateau, some distance from Bordeaux." 
Other French officers of Irish descent he also mentions 
in his narrative. Shortly after he arrived in France, 
he relates that he received a letter from Pol, Comte de 
Blarney Carty, addressing him as his "dear cousin," 
and, ' ' as the descendant of one of the Irish patriots who 
came here centuries ago to fight for France, I welcome 
you as a worthy representative of the Irish race and as 
a McCarthy, who has come from America to fight for 
France and liberty!" 

The record of the McCarthys in the service of the 
patriot forces in the war of the Revolution is one in which 
people of the name may well take pride. Of the great 
numbers of Irish names which appear in the muster- 
rolls of the Revolutionary army and navy, the Mc- 
Carthys rank third ^ with a total of 14 officers and 335 
enlisted men, including those bearing the abbreviated 
forms of the name, Carty and Cartie. Of the men of 
the rank and file, 117 enlisted in Pennsylvania, 41 in 
New York, 37 in Maryland, 32 in Massachusetts, 18 in 
the Carolinas, 17 in Virginia, 14 each in New Jersey 
and Connecticut, 13 in New Hampshire and the remain- 
ing 37 scattering. A list of these men, with the designa- 
tions of the regiments or names of the ships to which 
they were attached, taken from such of the muster-rolls 

2 The Kelleys are first with 32 officers and 695 enlisted men, and the 
Murphys second with 15 officers and 494 enlisted men. 

292 THE McCarthys 

and enlistment papers as I have been able to examine, 
is appended hereto, and when the fact is considered that 
historians of the Revolution usually give no credit to 
the Irish as participants in the war for American Inde- 
pendence, this large number of Revolutionary soldiers 
and sailors representing one Irish family alone prob- 
ably will be a revelation to many people who thought 
they were acquainted with the details of the history of 
the Revolution. And, that even this long list is incom- 
plete, is indicated by the occasional references that are 
made to Revolutionary soldiers named McCarthy who 
are not listed in the existing muster-rolls. 

For example, according to the will of Jeremiah Mc- 
Carthy of Westmoreland County, Pennsjdvania, he 
served as a private soldier in a Pennsylvania regiment 
prior to 1782, yet his name does not appear in the rolls 
which I examined. A copy of the will was reproduced in 
the American Monthly Magazine,^ the official organ of the 
Daughters of the American Revolution, with the ex- 
planation that it was neither probated nor recorded but 
was found some years ago among a lot of miscellaneous 
papers, the accumulation of the greater part of two 
centuries, in the basement of the "Westmoreland County 
court house. The will is dated August 17, 1782, and 
Jeremiah McCarthy described himself therein as "a sol- 
dier of Captain Samuel Brady's company in a detach- 
ment of the Pennsylvania Line. ' ' To his wife, Margaret, 
and his sons, John, Daniel and Jeremiah, he bequeathed 
"each one an equal part of my worldly substance con- 
sisting of 18 months' pay due me from the late Captain 
Heath's Independent Company for my services as a 
private soldier in said Company; likewise, all the pay 
now due me in the Pennsylvania Line." And he em- 

8 For March, 1909, p. 276. 


powered ''Mr. John Bradley, now an inhabitant of Pitts- 
burg, to receive the aforesaid pay or pays as my just 
and lawful executor and distribute the aforesaid as 
before directed." Captain Samuel Brady commanded 
a company of Colonel Francis Johnston's regiment of 
the Pennsylvania Line, and while three soldiers named 
Jeremiah McCarthy are included in the appended list 
as of the Pennsylvania Line, none of these men served 
in Captain Brady's company. One was in Captain 
Thomas Boude's company of the Eighth regiment and 
was from Lancaster County, one in the Seventh regi- 
ment under Colonel William Irvine and the third in the 
Fifth regiment commanded by Colonel Richard Butler, 
and it is an interesting historical fact that all three 
officers, Johnston, Irvine and Butler, were natives of 
Ireland. There is no Jeremiah McCarthy listed in the 
copy of the roster which I examined of Captain Heath 's 
Independent Company. 

Another example is that of Randolph McCarthy who, 
according to the Naval Records of the American Revolu- 
tion published by the Library of Congress,* was ap- 
pointed mate of the Pennsylvania sloop of war, Sally, 
on December 20, 1781; yet his name is also missing 
from the list for the reason stated. Still another ex- 
ample is that of Daniel McCarty. He is referred to 
in Boogher's Gleanings of Virginia History ^ as a private 
soldier in the First Virginia State Regiment, popularly 
known as ''Gibson's Lambs." They were commanded 
by Colonel George Gibson and were skilled sharpshooters, 
and "being distinguished for int^ependence and personal 
bravery, they assisted in repelling Lord Dunmore's at- 
tack on Hampton, Va., on October 25, 1775." Boogher 
lists Daniel McCarty as "dead," which explains the 

4 p. 453; Washington, 1906. 5 P. 181; Washington, 1903. 

294 THE McCarthys 

absence of his name from the particular roll that was 
examined by me and why his name is not included in 
the appended list of Revolutionary soldiers. Among the 
officers the name of William McCarthy is not included. 
In Force's American Archives there is a letter to John 
Hancock, President of Congress, dated from Montreal, 
May 17, 1776, from Samuel Chase and Charles Carroll, 
the American Commissioners in Canada, one passage of 
which reads: "Necessity has compelled us to desire 
Mr. William McCarthy to execute the office of Deputy 
Quarter-Master-General and we hope Congress will send 
that gentleman a commission of this date. Our Gen- 
erals here exercise the power of appointing officers, but 
we have not, nor do we remember that they have any 
such power." Careful search fails to disclose who this 
William McCarthy was, but it is evident that he was 
an officer of the Revolutionary forces and was regarded 
by the American Commissioners as a man of no little 
importance and efficiency. 

Other instances may also be quoted, that is where men 
of the name are referred to as having served in the Revo- 
lution but who I have not felt justified in including in 
the accompanying list, because I am unable to find their 
names in the official rolls. Some of these Revolutionary 
soldiers receive casual mention in town and county his- 
tories, but, as to what part they played in those stirring 
days, I am entirely without knowledge as I have had no 
opportunity to investigate their story. But, although 
there is a great dearth of information on record concern- 
ing the individual soldiers of the Revolution, especially 
of the enlisted men, I believe there must be some data 
available from the local town records and from the tradi- 
tions of the families of their descendants from which a 
more complete history of this family in America may 


be compiled, and if some of the McCarthys would only 
interest themselves in the work I am sure they would 
find it a most conjenial employment. 

That age did not deter American patriots from serv- 
ing their country when men were needed to uphold the 
standard of revolt against the tyranny of England, is 
seen from the case of John McCarthy of the Pennsyl- 
vania Artillery. In the Dockets of the Orphans' Court 
of the City and County of Philadelphia of the years 
1785 and 1786 there are records of a number of applica- 
tions for pensions, and under date of December 14, 1785, 
the following interesting entry appears: "The Court 
having examined and consid,ered the Case of John Mc- 
Carthy, late a Matross of the Fourth Regiment of Ar- 
tillery belonging to Pennsylvania, aged about 64 years, 
find that he was wounded in the Belly at the Battle 
of Green Springs in the State of Virginia on the sixth 
day of July, 1781, and afterwards contracted chronic 
disorders in the service of the United States by reason 
whereof he is in a great degree disabled of getting liveli- 
hood by Labor. The Court do therefore allow him a 
Pension of three dollars per month." And later, "upon 
application of Jolm Nicholson, Esqr. Comptroller-Gen- 
eral, on behalf of the following Pensioners their Pen- 
sions were Augmented to five Dollars per month from 
this day by the Court, to wit, to John Green, John Mc- 
Carthy, Garret Fagan, John St, John, James Sheridan 
and John Lane." 

When people of the name are mentioned in the prosaic 
official records of the Colonies, in such numbers and in 
such stations in life as are indicated herein, it is clear 
that the McCarthys were not as unimportant a factor 
in contributing to the work of nation-building as is gen- 
erally supposed of people of Irish blood in this country. 

296 THE McCarthys 

It is a singular circumstance that the government pub- 
lication, A Century of Population Orowth, which pur- 
ports to be a compendium of the First Census of the 
United States, shows only 625 McCarthys all told in the 
United States in 1790, and when a comparison of the 
census figures is made by States with the number of 
persons of the name mentioned in the muster-rolls of 
the Colonial and Revolutionary wars and in other eight- 
eenth century records, the discrepancy becomes still 
more surprising. 

Careful analysis of the figures furnished to us through 
A Century of Population Growth proves the utter un- 
trustworthiness of this publication. For example, the 
government statisticians show there were only 125 people 
named McCarthy of both sexes and of all ages and con- 
ditions in the State of Pennsylvania in 1790. Yet, there 
were 117 McCarthys who enlisted in the Revolutionary 
forces in that State. In the average case, reliable sta- 
tistics indicate that that number of soldiers of any one 
name would mean that there must have been at least 
twice the number of men of the same name in the State, 
and when we add the same conservative figure to repre- 
sent the women and children, the total would reach ap- 
proximately 560. Then, when we consider the number 
mentioned in the text and in the incomplete list at page 
309 to 317 of the McCarthys appearing in the Penn- 
sylvania marriage records, we can safely assume that 
seven years after the war the number of McCarthys in 
the State could not have been far short of 800. So that, 
the McCarthys in the Pennsylvania census returns repre- 
sent hardly more than fifteen per cent, of the total num- 
ber of people of the name in the State in 1790. 

In Connecticut and New Hampshire it is observed 
that, according to A Century of Population Growth, 


there was not one person named McCarthy in 1790, 
which is obviously an error since twenty-seven soldiers 
of the name enlisted in the Revolutionary army from 
those States (exclusive of those appearing in the land, 
court and church records) ; and surely some of these sol- 
diers must have returned to their homes after the war 
and had children or relatives of the name. In Massa- 
chusetts we are told there were only seventy-two Mc- 
Carthys of both sexes in 1790; but, as will be noted, 
one man of the name alone, Thaddeus of Worcester, 
was the father of fifteen children all born at Worcester, 
between 1744 and 1763, only three of whom died within 
that period, and of the twelve who survived until 1790, 
eight were males and were the fathers of many children. 
When we add to these the numerous descendants in the 
male line of Thomas, Thaddeus and Florence MacCarty 
of Boston and of the McCarthys who are recorded as 
residing in various other places in Massachusetts during 
the eighteenth century, more than 200 in all, again we 
have a striking illustration of the worthlessness of the 
figures given to us in A Century of Population Growth. 
Only 116 McCarthys are shown by the census returns 
to have resided in the State of New York in 1790, but, 
on going over the list of McCarthys whose names appear 
in New York records of the eighteenth century, we find 
a total of 142. And this is far short of the actual total, 
because the records examined were only those of the 
land office, a few of the church registers, the muster-rolls 
of the Colonial and Revolutionary troops, probate rec- 
ords and others of that class. And as many other rec- 
ords were inaccessible to me or were not consulted, in 
which people of the name undoubtedly appear, the total 
number obviously was far greater than 142. It is safe 
to say that the descendants of these 142 McCarthys 

298 THE McCarthys 

living in the State of New York in 1790 must have num- 
bered several hundreds. 

In Maryland, if we are to accept A Century of Popii- 
lation Growth, only thirty-five McCarthys, male and fe- 
male, resided in 1790, although thirty-seven men and 
boys of the name are recorded in the muster-rolls of the 
Revolutionary troops organized in that State, in addi- 
tion to which I have given some details concerning fifty 
other McCarthys whose names appear in the Colonial 
records. On the conservative basis of calculation before 
described, and taking into consideration the probability 
that many of the eighty-seven McCarthys married and 
brought up families, who, or whose children, were living 
in Maryland in 1790, we are warranted in assuming that 
at least 160 of the McCarthys in Maryland were not 
included in the census enumerators' lists from which 
the total of thirty-five was compiled. In the adjoining 
State of Virginia the census shows 140 McCarthys in 
1790, and, without making any analysis of the figures, 
I leave it to the judgment of the readers of this book 
to form their own conclusions as to how nearly correct 
the government statisticians are, when the fact is taken 
into consideration that there are 243 ^McCarthys men- 
tioned in the Virginia land and probate records alone 
prior to 1790, many of whom married and brought up 
families and had descendants in the male line. 

The figures for these six States will suffice for the 
purposes of this comparison and probably will make the 
point clear, namely that a very large number of the 
McCarthys are not included in A Century of Population 
Growth. "What the reason for the omission may be I 
am unable to say, but it may be that it was because 
many of them resided in sections of the country not 


reached by the census enumeratoi's. The statement, 
therefore, that the figures in this publication, official 
though it is, are unreliable is not merely a generaliza- 
tion nor a mere inference, since it is fully substantiated 
by analysis of the factors which form the basis of the 
publica.tion. And it can be said that the same identical 
remarks apply to many other Irish family names which 
I selected for a similar analysis. And yet, A Century 
of Population Growth is the basis upon which is built 
the theory that people of Irish descent constituted only 
one and six-tenth per cent, of the population of the 
United States in 1790, and, as a logical inference, that 
they contributed little or nothing to the work of building 
up the country and to the achievement of American inde- 
pendence ! It is the ' ' authority ' ' usually quoted by shal- 
low commentators on the racial origins of the American 
people; it is used in the schools, colleges and libraries of 
the country; Math the result that a deep rooted impres- 
sion prevails that the American people are almost wholly 
of the "Anglo-Saxon," i.e. the "English," race, and 
that the contributions of people of other races to the 
glory and development of our country have been so 
negligible as to be altogether unworthy of serious con- 
sideration! That this is so, is clear from the opinions 
on the subject which are expressed from time to time 
by editorial writers, in the speeches of public men and 
by contributors to the magazines and the correspondence 
columns of the newspapers. But, as stated before, in 
so far as the American Irish and their descendants are 
concerned, all this is the inevitable result of the neglect 
of the Irish themselves, who have given practically no 
attention to the important work of investigating their 
history in America, while at the same time they look 

300 THE McCarthys 

on complacently at the constant undermining of their 
influence in a country to whose development their people 
contributed so much. 

It will be noted that in writing this account of the 
McCarthys, I have confined myself solely to facts, 
gleaned from authoritative sources, but if the traditions 
of the time were drawn upon to embellish the story, as 
one would be perfectly justified in doing, it would make 
a much more extensive and interesting historical narra- 
tive. There is every reason to believe that an exhaustive 
search of the records would bring to light much other 
valuable data relating to people of this name in Colonial 
and Revolutionary times, if some one with the time and 
the taste for such work would devote himself to the 
task. A comparison of an early map of the United 
States with the places where the McCarthys are located, 
at once shows that many of them settled on the frontiers, 
or at any rate in outlying sections far removed from 
the centers of population. 

It is shown that they were among the pioneers in 
various places, as owners and tillers of the soil, defenders 
of the homes and firesides of the early settlers, builders 
of the highways, laborers and artisans, tradesmen and 
millers, and that, in common with other pioneers of those 
days, they contributed their share to the laying of the 
foundations of the country's future greatness. In the 
towns and settlements along the seaboard they are found 
among the merchants and shipbuilders, and in no case 
do they appear among the "drones of society," but 
that in every respect the early McCarthys in America 
measured up to the standard of those pioneer settlers to 
whom the country owes so much and whose story has 
been told, in many cases with great detail, by American 


Enlisted men, from the muster-rolls and enlistment 
papers of the Revolutionary army and navy and the Pro- 
vincial Militia. 

McCarthy, Bartholomew, Cumberland County, Penna. Militia. 
McCarthy, Bartholomew, Colonel Brooks' Regiment of Mass. 

McCarthy, Charles, Philadelphia County, Penna. Militia. 
McCarthy, Charles, Philadelphia City, Penna. Artillery. 
McCarthy, Daniel, Philadelphia City, Penna. Militia. 
McCarthy, Daniel, Philadelphia City, Penna. Militia. 
McCarthy, Daniel, Pennsylvania Navy. 
McCarthy, Daniel, First Regiment New York Line. 
McCarthy, Daniel, Continental frigate. Confederacy. 
McCarthy, Daniel, Grayson's Maryland Continental Regiment. 
McCarthy, Daniel, Colonel Greaton's Massachusetts Regiment. 
McCarthy, Daniel, Colonel Mcintosh's Suffolk County, Mass. Reg- 
McCarthy, Daniel, Dutchess County, New York troops. 
McCarthy, Daniel, Jr., Colonel Greaton's Massachusetts Regiment. 

McCarthy, Daniel, Frigate Hague, Massachusetts Navy. 

McCarthy, Dennis, Philadelphia City, Penna. Militia. 

McCarthy, Dennis, Third Regiment, New York Line. 

McCarthy, Dennis, First Regiment, New York Line. 

McCarthy, Dennis, Colonel Gansevoort's New York Regiment. 

McCarthy, Ewen, First Pennsylvania Artillery. 

IMcCarthy, Felix, Berks County, Penna. Militia. 

McCarthy, Francis, Ship Mars, Massachusetts Navy. 

McCarthy, Florence, Fourth Regiment, North Carolina Line. 

McCarthy, Florence, North Carolina troops (regiment unknown). 

McCarthy, George, Colonel Warner's Regiment, Connecticut Line. 

McCarthy, Jeremiah, Frigate Boston, Massachusetts Navy. 

McCarthy, James, Crane's Massachusetts Artillery. 

McCarthy, James, Pennsylvania Navy. 

McCarthy, James, Colonel Greaton's Massachusetts Regiment. 

McCarthy, James, Tenth Regiment, North Carolina Line. 

McCarthy, John, Philadelphia City, Penna. Militia. 


302 THE McCarthys 

McCarthy, John, Colonel Elliott's Rhode Island Regiment. 
McCarthy, John, Colonel Ruggles' Massachusetts Regiment. 
McCarthy, John, Colonel Ruggles' Massachusetts Regiment. 
McCarthy, John, Thirteenth Regiment, Albany County, N. Y. 

McCarthy, John, Philadelphia City Volunteers. 
McCarthy, John, York County, Penna. Militia. 
McCarthy, John, Pennsylvania Navy. 
McCarthy, John, Invalid Guards (Pennsylvania). 
McCarthy, John, Fourth Pennsylvania Battalion. 
McCarthy, John, Proctor's Pennsylvania Artillery, 
McCarthy, John, Fourth Pennsylvania Artillery. 
McCarthy, Justin, Atlee's Pennsylvania Musketry Battalion. 
McCarthy, Miles, North Carolina Line (regiment unknown). 
McCarthy, Mathias, First Regiment, Provincial troops of S. C. 
McCarthy, Moses, Thirteenth Regiment, Albany County, N. Y. 

McCarthy, Michael, Fifth Regiment, Pennsylvania Line. 
McCarthy, Owen, Proctor's Pennsylvania Artillery. 
McCarthy, Owen, Independent Pennsylvania Artillery Regiment. 
McCarthy, Owen, Knox's Artillery Corps. 
McCarthy, Peter, Virginia Continental Line. 
McCarthy, Peter, Rawlings' Regiment, Maryland Line. 
McCarthy, Richard, Virginia State Line (regiment unknown). 
McCarthy, Roger, Georgia Continental Line (regiment unknown). 
McCarthy, Stephen, North Carolina Line (regiment unknown). 
McCarthy, Thomas, Philadelphia County, Penna. Militia. 
McCarthy, Timothy, Frederick County, Maryland troops. 
McCarthy, Timothy, Atlee's Pennsylvania Musketry Battalion. 
McCarthy, Thomas, Philadelphia City, Penna. Militia. 
McCarthy, Timothy, Suffolk County, Massachusetts Regiment. 
McCarthy, Timothy, Ship Protector, Massachusetts Navy. 
McCarthy, William, Fairfield, Connecticut Volunteers. 
McCarthy, William, North Carolina Line (regiment unknown). 
McCarty, Alexander, Third Regiment, South Carolina Line. 
McCarty, Andrew, Hunterdon County, New Jersey Militia. 
McCarty, Andrew, Frigate Hague, Massachusetts Navy. 
McCarty, Andrew, Captain Stephenson's Company of West Va. 

McCarty, Benjamin, Northampton County, Penna. Militia. 
McCarty, Charles, Chester County, Penna. Militia. 
McCarty, Charles, Cumberland County, Penna. Militia. 
McCarty, Charles, Virginia State Line. 
McCarty, Charles, Richmond County, Virginia Militia. 
McCarty, Charles, Third Regiment, New Hampshire Line. 



McCarty, Charles, Stark's New Hampshire Regiment. 
McCarty, Charles, Stark's New Hampshire Regiment. 
McCarty, Charles, Scammell's New Hampshire Regiment. 
McCarty, Charles, Colonel Malcom's Regiment, New York Line. 
McCarty, Cornelius, Second Regiment, South Carolina Line. 
McCarty, Cornelius, Prince William Parish, S. C. Volunteer Com- 
McCarty, Daniel, Second Regiment, New Hampshire Line. 
McCarty, Daniel, Georgia Continental Line (regiment unknown). 
McCarty, Daniel, Bedford County, Penna. Militia. 
McCarty, Daniel, Northampton County, Penna. Militia. 
IMcCarty, Daniel, York County, Penna. Militia. 
McCarty, Daniel, Thompson's Pennsylvania Rifle Battalion. 
McCarty, Daniel, Moylan's Fourth Pennsylvania Dragoons. 
McCarty, Daniel, Second Regiment. Pennsylvania Line. 
McCarty, Daniel, Seventh Regiment, Pennsylvania Line. 
McCarty, Daniel, Fifth Regiment, Maryland Line. 
McCarty, Daniel, Second Regiment, Virginia State Line. 
McCarty, Daniel, Second Regiment. New Hampshire Line. 
McCarty, Daniel, Kingston, New Hampshire Company. 
, McCarty, Daniel, Second Regiment, Lincoln County, Mass. 
McCarty, Daniel, First Regiment, New York Line. 
McCarty, Daniel, Second Regiment, Virginia Continental Line. 
McCarty, Daniel, Captain Robert Mullan's Philadelphia Marines. 
McCarty, "Dennis, Third Regiment, South Carolina Line. 
McCarty, Dennis, Charleston, S. C. Company of Rangers. 
McCarty, Dennis, Thompson's South Carolina Rangers. 
McCarty, Dennis, Philadelphia City, Penna. Militia. 
McCarty, Dennis, Fourth Regiment, Pennsylvania Line. 
McCarty, Dennis, Moylan's Fourth Penna. Dragoons. 
McCarty, Dennis, Third Regiment, Penna. Line. 
McCarty, Dennis, Philadelphia City Militia. 
McCarty, Dennis, First Regiment, New York Line. 
McCarty, Dennis, Fourth Regiment, New York Line. 
McCarty, Dennis, 4th. Batt. 2nd. Establishment, N. J. State Line. 
McCarty, Dennis, Sussex County, N. J. Militia. 
McCarty, Dennis, Third Regiment, South Carolina Line. 
McCarty, Dennis, Heatly's South Carolina Rangers. 
McCarty, Dennis, Colonel Whitney's Massachusetts Regiment. 
McCarty, Dugal, Philadelphia City Militia. 

McCarty, Dunkon, First Regiment, Tryon County, N. Y., Militia. 
McCarty, Eben, Savannah, Ga. Volimteers. 
McCarty, Edward, Kanawha County, W. Va., Militia. 
McCarty, Elias, Philadelphia City Militia. 
McCarty, Felix, Tenth Regiment, Penna. Line. 


THE McCarthys 

McCarty, Felix, First Eegiment, New York Line. 

McCarty, Florence, Fifth Regiment, Maryland Line. 

McCarty, Florence, Ship Defence, Maryland Navy. 

McCarty, Francis, Sloop Defence, Massachusetts Navy. 

McCarty, George, Fifth Regiment, Maryland Line. 

McCarty, George, Bigelow's Connecticut Artillery. 

McCarty, George, Third Battalion, North Carolina Line. 

McCarty, George, Colonel Warren's Connecticut Regiment. 

McCarty, Henry, Cumberland County, Penna. Militia. 

McCarty, Hugh, Colonel Malcom's New York Regiment. 

McCarty, Hugh, 3rd. Batt. 2nd. Establishment, N. J. State Line. 

McCarty, Hugh, First Battalion, Hunterdon County, N. J. Militia. 

McCarty, Hugh, Second Battalion, Hunterdon County, N. J., Mili- 

McCarty, Hugh, Colonel Graham's New York Regiment. 

McCarty, Isaac, Chester County, Penna. Militia. 

McCarty, Isaac, Northampton County, Penna. Militia. 

McCarty, Isaac, Second Regiment, New York Line. 

McCarty, Jere, Fourth Regiment, Maryland Line. 

McCarty, Jeremiah, First Regiment, Provincial troops of South 

McCarty, Jeremiah, Fifth Regiment, Penna. Line. 

McCarty, Jeremiah, Eighth Regiment, Penna. Line. 

McCarty, James, Lancaster County, Penna. Militia. 

McCarty, James, Northampton County, Penna. Militia. 

McCarty, James, Second Regiment, New York Line. 

McCarty. James, First Regiment, Maryland Line. 

McCarty, James, Fourth Regiment, Maryland Line. 

McCarty, James, Harford County, Md. troops. 

McCarty, James, Fourth Regiment, Connecticut Line. 

McCarty, Jesse, First Regiment, Maryland Line. 

McCarty, Jessy, Seventh Regiment, Maryland Line. 

McCarty, Jonathan, Chester County, Penna. Militia. 

McCarty, John, Georgia Continental Line (regiment unknown). 

McCarty, John, Georgia Continental Line (regiment unknown). 

McCarty, John, Cumberland County, Penna. Militia. 

McCarty, John, Northampton County, Penna. Militia. 

McCarty, John, Northampton County, Penna. Militia. 

McCarty, John, Philadelphia County, Penna. Militia. 

McCarty, John, First Regiment, Penna. Line. 

McCarty, John, Second Regiment, New York Line. 

McCarty, John, Fifth Regiment, New York Line. 

McCarty, John, Second Regiment, Albany County, N. Y. Militia. 

McCarty, John, Ninth Regiment, Albany County, N. Y. Militia. 

McCarty, John, Frederick County, Va. troops. 


McCarty, John, Colonel Peabody's New Hampshire Regiment. 
McCarty, John, Colonel Mooney's New Hampshire Regiment. 
McCarty, John, Colonel Reed's New Hampshire Regiment. 
McCarty, John, Kingston, New Hampshire Company. 
McCarty, John, Capt. Kimball's Lunenburg, Mass. Company. 
McCarty, John, Orange County, N. Y. Associators. 
McCarty, John, Colonel Greaton's Massachusetts Regiment. 
McCarty, John, Colonel Shepard's Massachusetts Regiment. 
McCarty, John, Beverly, Massachusetts Company. 
McCarty, John, Ship Mars, Massachusetts Navy. 
McCarty, John, First Regiment, Tryon County, N. Y. Militia. 
McCarty, John, Bradford's Philadelphia Foot Regiment. 
McCarty, John, Philadelphia City Militia. 
McCarty, Joseph, Chester County, Penna. Militia. 
McCarty, Justin, Chester County, Penna. Militia. 
McCarty, Justin, Ship General Mifflin, Massachusetts Navy. 
McCarty, Michael, Cumberland Coimty, Penna. Militia. 
McCarty, Michael, Fourth Pennsylvania Battalion. 
McCarty, Michael, Ninth Regiment, Penna. Line. 
McCarty, Moses, Thirteenth Regiment, Albany County, N. Y. Mil- 
McCarty, Neil, Chester County, Penna. Militia. 
McCarty, Nicklos, Bucks County, Penna. Militia. 
McCarty, Owen, Lamb's Artillery. 

McCarty, Owen, Scott's Detachment, Lincoln County, Mass. 
McCarty, Patrick, Bucks County, Penna. Militia. 
McCarty, Peter, Berks County, Penna. Militia, 
McCarty, Peter, Chester County, Penna. Militia. 
McCarty, Peter, Virginia State Line. 
McCarty, Phelix, Tenth Regiment, Penna. Line. 
McCarty, Philip, Northampton County, Penna. Militia. 
McCarty, Richard, Second Regiment, Penna. Line. 
McCarty, Thomas, Bucks County, Penna. Militia. 
McCarty, Thomas, Cumberland County, Penna. Militia. 
McCarty, Thomas, Northampton County, Penna. Militia. 
McCarty, Thomas, Fifth Regiment, New York Line. 
McCarty, Thomas, Fifth Regiment, Maryland Line. 
McCarty, Thomas, Colonel Malcom's New York Levies. 
McCarty, Thomas, Second Regiment, Connecticut Line. 
McCarty, Thomas, Philadelphia City Militia. 
McCarty, Thomas, Elizabeth, N. J. Militia Company, 
McCarty, Timothy, Seventh Regiment, Penna. Line. 
McCarty, Timothy, Second Regiment, Maryland Line. 
McCarty, Timothy, Colonel Price's Regiment, Maryland Line. 
McCarty, Timothy, Ship Hazard, Massachusetts Navy. 

306 THE McCarthys 

McCarty, Timothy, Virginia State Line. 
McCarty, William, Chester County, Penna. Militia. 
McCarty, William, Northampton County, Penna. Militia. 
McCarty, William, Penna. State Regiment of Foot. 
McCarty, William, Ninth Regiment, Penna. Line. 
McCarty, William, Moylan's Fourth Penna. Dragoons. 
McCarty, William, Second Regiment, Albany County, N. Y. Mili- 
McCarty, William, Third Regiment, Maryland Line. 
McCarty, William, Salem County, N. J. Militia. 
McCarty, William, Col. Wigglesworth's Massachusetts Regiment. 
McCarty, William, Sullivan's Brigade, Rhode Island troops. 
McCart, James, Third Regiment, New York Line. 
McCart, John, Third Regiment, New York Line. 
McCart, John, Morgan's Virginia Riflemen. 
McCarte, Daniel, Second Regiment, New Hampshire Line. 
McCarte, Jere, New Milford, Connecticut Company. 
McCarte, John, Eleventh Regiment, Virginia Line. 
McCarte, John, Fifteenth Regiment, Virginia Line. 
McCarte, John, Colonel Greaton's Massachusetts Regiment. 
McCarte, Paul, Washington County, Penna. Militia. 
McCartee, Jeremiah, Fourth Regiment, Connecticut Line. 
McCartee, Thomas, Hartford, Connecticut Volunteers. 
McCartee, Dennis, Colonel Eddy's Massachusetts Regiment. 
McCartee, Felix, Second Regiment, New York Line. 
McCartee, James, Virginia State Line. 
McCartey, Daniel, Second Massachusetts Regiment. 
McCartey, Duncan, Suffolk County, N. Y. Minute Men. 
McCartey, Cornelius, South Carolina Militia. 
McCartey, George, Second Regiment, Connecticut Line. 
McCartey, Hugh, Vermont troops. 

McCartey, James, Second Regiment, Plymouth County, Mass. 
McCartey, James, Second Regiment, Connecticut Line. 
McCartey, Jeremiah, Rawlings' Regiment, Maryland Line. 
McCartey, John, Third Regiment, Connecticut Line. 
McCartey, John, Fourth Regiment, Connecticut Line. 
McCartey, John, Suffolk County, N. Y. Minute Men. 
McCartey, John, Philadelphia City Militia. 
McCartey, John, Philadelphia County, Penna. Militia. 
McCartey, John, Washington County, Penna. Militia. 
McCartey, John, First Regiment, Penna. Line. 
McCartey, John, Second Regiment, Albany County, N. Y. Militia. 
McCartey, Owen, Philadelphia City Militia. 
McCartey, Philip, Northumberland County, Penna. Militia. 
McCartie, Jeremiah, Seventh Regiment, Penna. Line. 


McCartie, Sharrod, Georgia Continental Brigade. 

McCartie, "Titan," Berks County, Penna. Militia. 

McArthey, William, Cumberland County, Penna. Militia. 

McCardy, Edward, Chester County, Penna. Militia. 

McCartney, Andrew, Cumberland County, Penna. Militia. 

McCartney, Andrew, Chester County, Penna. Militia. 

McCartney, David, Northumberland County, Penna. Militia. 

McCartney, Edward, Third Regiment, Maryland Line. 

McCartney, Henry, Stephenson's Company, W. Va. Riflemen. 

McCartney, James, Northampton County, Penna. Militia. 

McCartney, James, Philadelphia County, Penna. Militia. 

McCartney, John, Chester County, Penna. Militia. 

McCartney, John, Northampton County, Penna. Militia. 

McCartney, Joseph, Cumberland County, Penna. Militia. 

McCartney, Peter, West Virginia troops. 

McCartney, Timothy, New Castle County, Delaware Militia. 

McCartney, John, Philadelphia County, Penna. Militia. 

McCharty, James, Lancaster County, Penna. Militia. 

McClarty, John, Cumberland County, Penna. Militia. 

Macartie, Daniel, Colonel Hale's New Hampshire Regiment. 

Maccarty, William, Colonel Bigelow's Massachusetts Regiment. 

Mccarty, William, Atlee's Penna. Musketry Battalion. 

McKarty, James, Ship General Mifflin, Massachusetts Navy. 

McKart, John, Cumberland Coimty, Penna. Militia. 

McKerty, Hugh, York County, Penna. Militia. 

McKarty, Tim, Second Regiment, Maryland Line. 

Carty, Charles, Colonel Neill's Delaware Regiment. 

Carty, Darby, Colonel Hall's Delaware Regiment. 

Carty, Daniel, Maryland Flying Camp. 

Carty, Daniel, Second Regiment, N. J. Continental Line. 

Carty, Daniel, 2nd. Batt. 2nd. Establishment, N. J. State Line. 

Carty, Dennis, Fifth Regiment, Maryland Line. 

Carty, Francis, First Regiment, N. J. Continental Line. 

Carty, James, Maryland Flying Camp. 

Carty, John, 2nd. Batt. 2nd. Establishment, N. J. State Line. 

Carty, John, Second Regiment, N. J. Continental Line. 

Carty, Lawrence, Maryland Line (regiment unknown). 

Carty, Matthew, Third Maryland Battalion. 

Carty, Timothy, Maryland Flying Camp. 

Carty, William, Colonel Hall's Delaware Regiment, Lieut. Col. 

Pope's Co. 
Carty, William, Colonel Hall's Delaware Regiment, Capt. Jaquett'a 

Carty, William, New Jersey Militia. 
Cartey, Benjamin, Lancaster County, Penna. Militia. 

308 THE McCarthys 

Cartey, Daniel, Maryland Line (regiment unknown). 

Cartey, Dennis, Capt. Thomas Beall's Maryland Corps. 

Cartey, Henry, Second Regiment, Albany County, N. Y. Militia. 

Cartey, James, Third Regiment, Maryland Line. 

Cartey, John, Pennsylvania Navy. 

Cartey, John, Third Regiment, Maryland Line. 

Cartey, John, Colonel Willett's New York Levies. 

Cartey, Martin, Third Regiment, Maryland Line. 

Cartey, Matthew, First Regiment, Maryland Line. 

Cartey, Silas, Lancaster County, Penna. Militia. 

Cartey, Solomon, Colonel Harper's New York Levies. 

Cartey, Thomas, Northampton County, Penna. Militia. 

Cartey, Timothy, Maryland Line ( regiment unknown ) . 

Cartey, William, Lancaster County, Penna. Militia. 

Cartey, William, Bedford County, Penna. Militia. 

Carte, Dennis, Fourth Maryland Battalion. 

Carte, James, Seventh Regiment, Maryland Line. 

Carte, Thomas, Fifth Regiment, Maryland Line. 

Carte, William, Colonel Pawling's New York Levies. 

Carthy, Daniel, Sixth Regiment, New York Line. 

Carthey, Isaac, Second Regiment, New York Line. 

Carthey, William, Frederick County, Md. troops. 

Cartee, William, Vermont troops. 

These names are as they appear in the records, but in several 
cases of the "McCartneys," "McCarts," and others, it is foimd that 
they were really "McCarthys." 





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Ball, Sarah; wife of Dennis 
McCarty, 39-41 

Butler, Anne; wife of Augus- 
tine Washington, 46 

Butlers of Kilkenny, 46 

Carty, Mahan; emigrant to 
Virginia, 1653, 17 

Fighting Race, the, 287-288 
Fitzhugh family of Virginia, 

intermarried with the Mc- 

Cartys, 49-50 
France, MacCarthys in, Intro., 


Irish immigrants to Boston, 

Irish settlers in Pennsylvania, 

Irish immigrants to Virginia 

in 17th and 18th centuries, 

Intro., 10, 19, 44, 85-87, 

Irish soldiers in Washington's 

Body-Guard, 111 n 

Lee family of Virginia, inter- 
married with the Mc- 
cartys, 42 

Lafayette and Adams, enter- 
tained by the McCartys, 

Mason, General Armistead T. ; 
duel with John M. Mc- 
Carty, 71-79 

Meade, Andrew, of Virginia; 
a native of Kerry, Ireland, 
15 n 

Mordecai, John; duel with Wil- 
liam Page McCarty, 80-82 

MacArt, Cormac; King of Ire- 
land, Intro. 

MacCarthy family; their an- 
cient pedigree, Intro. 

MacCarthy, Donough; Lord of 
Muskerry, Intro. 

MacCarthy, Donough; Earl of 
ClanCarthy, Intro. 

MacCarthy, Florence; Tanist 
of Carbery, Intro. 

MacCarthy, Florence of Vir- 
ginia and his descendants, 

MacCarthy, Justin; Earl of 
Mountcashel, Intro. 

MacCarthy or MacCartee, Den- 
nis; land patents in Vir- 
ginia in 17th century, 8- 

MacCarthy, Charles, of York 
County, Va., 17 

MacCarthy families of Augusta 
County, Va., 97-98 

MacCarthys in the military 
service of France, 22 

MacCarthy, Chevalier Charles ; 
Governor of Illinois under 
the French, 128-136 

Macartee, Elisa; immigrant to 
Virginia, 1653, 17 

Mackartee, Charles, of York 
County, Va., 1688, 17 

Mackartee, Dennis, of York 
County, Va., 1688, 17 

MacCarthy, Edmond; early set- 
tler in Brunswick County, 
Va., 86 

MacCarthj', Cornelius of Staf- 




ford County, Va., and his 
descendants, 83-84 
MacCarthy, Alexander of 
Prince George County, Md., 
MacCarty, Thaddeus of Boston, 
1664-1705, 200-214 
his extensive landed interests, 

descended from MacCarthy 
Mor, Prince of Desmond, 

MacCarty, Florence of Boston, 

MacCarty, Captain Thomas of 
Boston, 216 

MacCarty, Thomas, Jr., in the 
Kevolution in New Eng- 
land, 1689, 217-220 

MacCarty, Thaddeus (2nd), 
New England sea-captain, 

MacCarty, Rev. Thaddeus 
(3rd), patriot of the Revo- 
lution, 227-229 

MacCarty, Dr. Thaddeus (4th), 
first physician at Fitch- 
burg, Mass., 230 

MacCarty, Thaddeus (5th), 
New Hampshire jurist, 

MacCartys, niimerous in the 
Massachusetts vital rec- 
ords, 238-240 

MacCartys, Colonial soldiers of 
Massachusetts, 244-249 

^McCarthys in Connecticut, 263- 
265 " 

McCarthys in Delaware, 147- 

McCarthys in Georgia, 122-127 

McCarthys in Illinois and Ken- 
tucky, 141-146 

McCarthys in Louisiana, 137- 

McCarthys in Maine, 271-274 

McCarthys in Maryland, 107- 

McCarthys in Massachusetts, 

McCarthys in New Hampshire 
and Vermont, 275-279 

McCarthys in New Jersey, 194- 

McCarthys in New York, 173- 

McCarthys in North and South 
Carolina, 115-122 

McCarthys in Pennsylvania, 

McCarthys in Rhode Island, 

McCarthys in the Pennsylvania 
Land Records, 166-169 

McCarthys in the Pennsylvania 
Navy, 164-165 

McCarthys, New England Ma- 
riners, 280-282 

McCarthys of Charlestown, 
Mass., 243-244 

McCarthys of Medford, Mass., 

McCarthys or Mecarteys of 
Salem, Mass., 241-242 

McCarthy, Captain Daniel of 
Boston, 254-256 

McCarthy, Captain Daniel of 
Roxbury, 256-260 

McCarthy, Captain Daniel of 
Philadelphia, 161-164 
brings shipload of immi- 
grants from Cork, Ire., 163 

McCarthys, pioneers of Bucks 
County, Pa., 149-156 

McCarthy, Carlton; Mayor of 
Richmond, Va., 284 

McCarthy, Cornelius of Savan- 
nah, Ga., 123-126 

McCarthy, Dr. Charles H., of 

Washington, D. C, 285 
McCarthy, Dr. Charles of Wis- 
consin State Library, 285 



McCarthy, Dalton of Toronto, 
Ont., 285 

McCarthy, Dennis A., of Bos- 
ton, Mass., 285 

McCarthy, Gerald of North 
Carolina, 285 

McCarthy, James; early School- 
master in North Carolina, 

McCarthy, Michael Henry, of 
Dubuque, Iowa, 284 

McCarthys, Officers in Civil 
War, 289 

McCarthys, Officers in Mexican 
War, 289 

McCarthys, Officers in Spanish- 
American War, 290 

IMcCarthys, Officers in War of 
1812, 288 

McCarthys, Officers in War of 
the Revolution, 291 

McCarthys, soldiers and sailors 
of the Revolution, 291-295, 

McCarthy, Colonel Daniel; the 
first American soldier in 
France in the World War, 

McCartie, Charles and Owen; 
the first of the name in 
America, 1-4, 7-8 

McCarty, Captain Charles; 
Member of the Virginia 
Convention, 67 

McCarty, Darby of Frederick 
County, Va., 87-88 

McCarty, Daniel; exiled by the 
Treaty of Limerick, 1691, 
leading Virginia colonist, 23- 

Speaker of the House of Bur- 
gesses, 27-28 
his great landed property in 
Virginia, 34-36 

inscription on his tombstone, 

McCarty, Daniel; King's Attor- 
ney in Virginia, 1692, 13- 

McCarty, Daniel (2nd), Bur- 
gess of Virginia, 1734, 44 
appoints Augustine Wash- 
ington executor of his will, 

McCarty, Colonel Daniel of Vir- 
ginia; Revoluttionary pa- 
triot, 66-67 

McCarty, Dennis of Virginia; 
marries Sarah Ball, 39-41 
his children cousins of George 
Washington, 41 

McCarty, Dennis, Jr., Member 
of Virginia House of Bur- 
gesses, 42 

McCarty, Dennis, of Virginia; 
Colonial soldier under 
Washington, 57-60 

McCarty, Michael, Daniel and 
James; Colonial soldiers of 
Virginia, 88 

McCarty, Thaddeus ; married 
in George Washington's 
home, 41 

McCarty, Patrick; pioneer of 
Hampshire County, Va., 

McCarty, Colonel Edward ; Rev- 
olutionary soldier of Vir- 
ginia, 94-96 

McCarty, Peter of Winchester, 
Va., and his numerous 
descendants, 100-102 

McCarty, Timothy; pioneer of 
Pocahontas County, W. 
Va., 99-100 

McCarty, Colonel Daniel of 
Virginia; his negotiations 
with Washington, 68-69 

McCarty, John Mason; his 
duel with General Armi- 



stead T. Mason, 71-79 

McCarty, William Page; his 
duel with Jolin Mordecai, 

McCartys miscalled "Scotch- 
Irish," 96-97 

McCartys as sportsmen, 102- 

McCartys numerous in Staf- 
ford County, Va., 85 

McCartys mentioned in Hen- 
ing's Statutes of Virginia, 

McCarty family invited to at- 
tend Washington's funeral, 

McCartys mentioned by Wash- 
ington in his Diary, 60-63 

McCartys in the Virginia Leg- 
islature, 29 

New Ireland County, Maryland, 
its subdivisions. New Con 
naught, New Leinster and 
New Munster, 108 

O'Neale, Hugh of Maryland; 
Colonizing Agent for Lord 
Baltimore, 109-110 

Places in the United States 

named for McCarthys, 104- 

Revolution, American ; Mc- 
Carthys in. Appendix 

Rices, Irish family in Virginia, 

Stanards, Irish family in Vir- 
ginia, 5-6 

Travers, Irish family in Vir- 
ginia, 5-6 

Truro Parish, Va., Records of, 
43-44, 50-55 

Washington, Augustine; execu- 
tor of Daniel McCarty's 
will, 46 
appoints Daniel McCarty 
executor of his will, 47 
Washington, George: Vestry- 
man with Daniel McCarty 
of Truro Parish, 52-55 
his intimate relationship with 

the McCartys, 57-62 
McCartys mentioned in his 
Diary, 60^63 
Wright, Mary ; wife of Florence 
MaeCarthy of Virginia, 18 

Yeoeomico Church, Westmore- 
land County, Va., 32-33 


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* 1 1 3 2 7 M G 8 ♦* 


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The McCarthys in early American